Little-Known Facts About Buffalo Nickels And How Much They Are Worth



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The buffalo nickel is technically known as “the five-cent Indian head” coin.

It’s also referred to as the bison nickel or Indian nickel due to the Indian on the front.

1935_Indian_Head_Buffalo_Nickel_public_domain.jpg
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The buffalo on the reverse of the coin was supposedly modeled after a bison named Black Diamond that resided in the New York Central Park Zoo.

Did You Know?
The buffalo head nickel was designed by James E. Fraser who used 3 different native Americans as models.

See how much your buffalo nickels are worth…

It’s one of the more eye appealing coins. Unfortunately, the date on the buffalo nickel was placed in a bad spot and was easily worn away when the coins hit circulation. That’s why almost everybody who owns circulated a buffalo nickel is going to have a coin with a date that is just barely legible. These aren’t worth much money to a collector. The ones that haven’t received so much wear on them are commonly worth $2.00-$5.00.

If you have quite a few buffalo nickels in any kind of decent shape, I’d recommend getting yourself a price book (such as the “Red Book”) because buffalo nickels jump around a bit in price from coin to coin.

 

The Value Of Buffalo Nickels

The buffalo head nickel was minted from 1913 to 1938. Here are the values of some of the more noteworthy buffalo nickels:

The first one on the list, the 3-legged buffalo, is one of the more sought after buffalo nickels. On the 3-legged buffalo coins, the stump and hoof remain of the front leg but the leg itself is missing. This was caused by a section of the coin die that had been completely polished off.

1937 D 3-legged – $500.00-$1000.00
1936 D 3 1/2 legs – $800.00-$5000.00
1935 Double Die Reverse – $40.00-$150.00
1931 S – $15.00-$20.00
1926 S – $18.00-$450.00
1924 S – $15.00-$475.00
1923 S – $7.50-$125.00
1921 S – $70.00-$525.00
1920 D – $8.00-$110.00
1919 S – $8.00-$100.00
1919 D – $12.00-$120.00
1918 D – $18.00-$120.00
1918 D 8 over 7 – $1000.00-$5500.00
1916 Double Die – $2200.00-$11000.00
1914 D – $80.00-$200.00
1914 4 over 3 – $350.00-$550.00
1913 S – $300.00-$425.00
1913 D – $100.00-$170.00

NOTE: Listed above are a few coins that have one date over another. These are known as “overdates”.

Jay

I have been collecting and trading coins for years. Coin collecting is a hobby for me, and I've done a lot of research about coins through the years.

160 thoughts on “Little-Known Facts About Buffalo Nickels And How Much They Are Worth

    1. Hi, Jake —

      The only way a 2005 Jefferson/Buffalo (bison) nickel is worth more than 5 cents is if it is uncirculated (and would have a value of about 20 to 25 cents on average) or has an error (which would give it a value of a few dollars or more).

  1. i have a buffalo nickel coin with a unique marking..
    it have a separate line from the beggining to the end of the word
    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA..
    and its in excellent condition, so i can see the line clearly..
    my question is ; is it normal? or is it the only one?

    1. Dj,

      There are a couple ways for a line to get on your coin based on my understanding of the description of your specific coin.

      One possibility is that the line comes as a “die break.” Die breaks are caused by damage to the die (the stamp that puts the design on the coin). Many die break coins are worth money, but value typically varies based on the type of die break, as well as how well recognized it is among numismatists.

      The other possibility is that the line was caused either by damage outside the U.S. Mint. Such damage could have been caused by a machine, or perhaps somebody even intentionally etched or scratched that line into your nickel. That would significantly lower the value of your coin.

      Without seeing the coin, I can’t really tell you what you have.

      *If the line appears raised, it was probably caused by the U.S. Mint.
      *If the line is recessed, I’m betting you have a coin damaged after it left the U.S. Mint.

      I hope this helps.

  2. I found a 1936 buffalo nickle today by accident its looks like its mint conditon you can clearly see the 1936 on it and their no real wear down on the nickle just tryen to figure out if theirs anything else i need to look for on it, and if it has any real value to it.

    1. Hi, Uiy,

      If your 1936 Buffalo nickel is indeed uncirculated (‘mint condition’), it would have a value of at least $10 to $15 if sold to a coin dealer. However, if you found it in pocket change or if there appears to be even minute areas of wear (areas that look like they have been rubbed — often indicated by dullness or darkness), then your coin is not uncirculated.

      Still, the value of even a lightly circulated 1936 is $1 to $2. Very well-worn 1936 Buffalo niukels will be bought by a coin dealer for anywhere from 25 cents to $1.

      By the way, great job finding a Buffalo nickel with a clear date — millions of Buffalo nickels are so worn they don’t have a date visible due to poor placement of the date on the coin.

  3. I found a three legged buffalo nickel, but there is no date on it.On the side of the indian it says liberty, but you can only see half of the word. Is this a special nickel and is it worth anything?

    1. Alisa,

      A famous 3-legged Buffalo nickel is the 1937-D. As many Buffalo nickels have suffered worn-off dates because of their location, it’s possible you have a ‘dateless’ 1937-D Buffalo nickel, which — if authentic — may be worth $250 or more. Specimens in the grades of Good to Fine can bring in $500 to $700.

    1. Hi, Josh —

      A 1926 Buffalo nickel is worth $1 to $2 in typical grades. The ‘E’ is actually an ‘F’ and is the initial for James Fraser, the designer of the Buffalo nickel.

  4. hello, i have a 1936 buffalo head nickel without a mint mark, and on the buffalo side where it states “five cents” the coin, only has “fiv nts” the letters in the middle are not present. which i have shown to many people can clearly state the wear is minimal and if wear was the cause of these missing letters then the others would be significantly worn. which are not. any idea? ive spent an hour looking for smoething similar, and theres nothing at all about this misprint. any assumptions or ball park values?

    1. Hi, Dude —

      My first thought when I read your question is that your coin likely was struck either on weak dies or on filled dies. This is a relatively common scenario and there are very few coins that actually are worth any great deal of money more than regular coins because of this, and I have never seen any premium being paid for 1936 Buffalo nickels because of this.

      As for value, I would have to therefore say that you’re looking at the coin being worth the usual $2 to $5 for a lightly circulated 1936 Buffalo nickel. If you ever decide to sell this coin, though, do see if you can find a coin dealer who specializes in error coins — they MAY be willing to offer a tad more if they like the effect of the filled/weak die strike.

  5. Hello, I found a buffalo nickel, it is not 3 legged, I cannot find a date on it. Can you tell me anything about this. thanks

    1. Hi, Marion —

      Because dates easily wear off Buffalo nickels because of their location, ‘dateless’ Buffalo nickels are extremely common and not worth very much due to their severe state of wear. A ‘dateless’ Buffalo nickel is therefore usually worth around 25 cents.

  6. I have found 2 buffalo nickels 1 is worn out pretty bad the other i can read everything yr 1936 not sure if its a 3 legged.

    1. Hi, Kent —

      If the one ‘worn out’ Buffalo nickel has no date visible, it’s worth around 25 cents. The 1936 is worth at least $1 or so.

      If it looks like the bison’s foremost leg is partially missing, then what you have MAY be a 3-1/2-legged Buffalo nickel. However, don’t get too excited if you see what looks like a partially missing leg. It may be a coin that was struck on weak dies.

      If you ever suspect you have a rare coin, it’s always best to get it verified and authenticated with a 3rd-party coin grader like PCGS, NGC, or ANACS.

  7. how do i know the difference between a 1920 and a 1920-D nickel? i found one in my pantry and its barley legible but not too bad, but how can i tell the difference between the 2 other than the price difference in redbook?

    1. Minmin,

      The ‘D’ mintmark can be found under the word ‘FIVE CENTS’ on the reverse of the coin (below the bison). This may require a typical magnifying glass to see.

      If you don’t spy a mint mark there, then you have a 1920 Buffalo nickel made in Philadelphia (which didn’t stamp mintmarks on coins in the 1920s).

  8. I have a 1937 f buffalo nickel. The date and the f are very clear and easy to read. Wanted to know what its worth?

  9. i have a 1936 buffalo head nickel that appears to be missing a hoof and partial leg…can you tell me with or without hoof what the worth of the coin would be…i’ve been getting alot of different information on it, all the websites say it should have a D underneath the five cents on the back… and im not sure but mine appears to have an S instead… its in great condition hardly any wear compared to the other one i have were you can barely read anything on it this one is clear… anyway thanks for your time and please get back with me.. thank you. have a good day

    1. Hi Hope,

      It’s true that the 1936-D is a recognized variety of a 3-legged Buffalo nickel. As for 1936-S, I would have to take a closer look at the tails side of the coin to give you a better opinion. If you’d like, feel free to post a photo of your coin to The Fun Times Guide to Coins Facebook wall: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/TheFunTimesGuideToCoins

      As for the value of the coin, a regular 1936-S Buffalo nickel is worth $1 to $2 in typical grades. I’m not sure of the value of a 1936-S Buffalo nickel if it’s missing a leg, but I’d be happy to further investigate after taking a look at the coin via photograph to see what eactly is going on with your coin.

    2. Hi Hope,

      It’s true that the 1936-D is a recognized variety of a 3-legged Buffalo nickel. As for 1936-S, I would have to take a closer look at the tails side of the coin to give you a better opinion. If you’d like, feel free to post a photo of your coin to The Fun Times Guide to Coins Facebook wall: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/TheFunTimesGuideToCoins

      As for the value of the coin, a regular 1936-S Buffalo nickel is worth $1 to $2 in typical grades. I’m not sure of the value of a 1936-S Buffalo nickel if it’s missing a leg, but I’d be happy to further investigate after taking a look at the coin via photograph to see what eactly is going on with your coin.

  10. i have a 1936 buffalo head nickel that appears to be missing a hoof and partial leg…can you tell me with or without hoof what the worth of the coin would be…i’ve been getting alot of different information on it, all the websites say it should have a D underneath the five cents on the back… and im not sure but mine appears to have an S instead… its in great condition hardly any wear compared to the other one i have were you can barely read anything on it this one is clear… anyway thanks for your time and please get back with me.. thank you. have a good day

  11. ahhaahhahahaah no… kool no…. yeh kinda awesome but as i have i buffalo nickel
    it is normal but there is no date on it it is a little bit bigger than the other ones that i have so i dont get it..;
    i went to a numismatic and they offered me $4000 but they said that if i wait too much they will cancel the offer so i dont know.
    How much is my buffalo nickel worth???
    thanx ur cool…. and get me back send me an email….

    1. Bluejay,

      That all depends on their date and condition; values for Buffalo nickels range from around 50 cents to hundreds of dollars each!

      What dates are yours?

  12. I just got 11 Buffalo Nickels in a roll today, and one was a 1913 P Type 1 as well. Today has been a fun day! And hope you have some worthwhile Buffaloes jay.

  13. I have a 1936 buffalo nickel, but it looks like it has been run over because it is smashed.  I  can’t read where it would say five cents and the letter below the buffalo.  It looks like the weak leg error.  Since it is damaged is it worthless?  Thanks

    1.  If it is a weak leg error, it would still have some value, the question really is how much. Sight unseen, it’s pretty hard to say what it would be worth. If it is not a weak leg error, than as a regular 1936 Buffalo nickel, it really wouldn’t be worth much more than face value.

  14. Jay i have s very sharp 1936 buffalo nickel f its in one of the cardbord holders it was my grand fathers the letters and details a very crisp and sharp. I would love to sell, unfortunately dont know where to if you could help that would be great i can send pics also

    1. Hi, Bones —

      You can upload and post a photo here in the comments forum if you’d like by clicking on the +Image button when you comment.

      As for selling your 1936 Buffalo nickel, unless it’s in mint condition (no wear whatsoever), that piece isn’t going to net you much more than perhaps $5, just so you know.

      If you’re still interested in selling it, I’d recommend checking out your local coin dealer.

      Here’s some more info about coin dealers: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/

      …And a search engine for local coin dealers: https://www.pngdealers.com/dealersearch.php

      Good luck!

  15. I have a 1936 nickel with the Indian head on BOTH sides of the coin. The coin is not heavily worn & all lettering and images are legible.  Anyone have any idea what it might be worth?

    1. Lonestar,

      That’s definitely not a mint issue. You’re describing a common type of novelty coin; such pieces are usually real coins that were sawed in half and reconfigured with other coins to create “two-headed” or “two-tailed” coins. These are conversation pieces, really, and don’t have much value in the coin market, save for a couple dollars to those who are inclined to buy them as curiosities.

  16. i have a 1913 buffalo nickel but i can not tell what mint it is how can you find some thing like that 

    1. The mintmark, if there is one, would be under the words FIVE CENTS on the side with the buffalo. Also, in the case of the 1913, there were two types of designs. One with the buffalo standing on a mound with a line beneath it and one without the line.

      If you’d like to post a photo of your coin here in the comments forum, please feel free to do so. We could help you determine which type you have and perhaps even suggest an approximate value.

    1. If its in very good condition, $850.00 according to the 2011 Red Book (for coins). Find a coin dealer and sell it, or keep it so it will be worth more.

  17. Hi, I have a 1919 3 and1/2  legged Buffalo nickle. I have seen graded 1927 and 1917 Buffalo nickles but never a 1919. Any idea what it could be worth?  It is very definatly a 3 and 1/2 legger. It’s at least a AU.as far as detail goes but I sure it has been cleaned, but very nice in presentation. Thank you, any input would be appreciated, K..B.

  18. i have a high rise print buffalo nickle and the s in cents looks like a miss print how can i find more about it so i can find out how much its really worth

    1. Hi, Zach –

      Sounds like a “double-tails” novelty coin. Such pieces really aren’t rare but are exonumia curiosities and are usually worth anywhere between $1 and $5.

  19. I have a 1937 3 legged Buffalo nickel…
    Where can I sell it? or would a lot of people even be interesterd in it??
    Thanks.

    1. Alexandra –

      Here is a search engine where you can find a reputable coin dealer near you: https://www.pngdealers.com/

  20. I just found one too, but I can’t see the date. It looks pretty worn. There is no mint mark visible. I’ve also read that I shouldn’t try to clean it. Are there any other ways to identify what I have?

    1. CK,

      The only way to really identify a dateless Buffalo nickel is to use a special acid called nic-a-date, sold by coin dealers. Unfortunately, the acid will numismatically ruin the coin.

  21. i have one from 1935 it is in quality shape exept someone has made it into a medalion punching a small home to thread a ring threw the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA it now reads UNITED STAT  OF AMERICA can anyone give me a rough value?

  22. I have a 1936 nickel with a red background and a gold buffalo.
    other side is dark purple with a gold indian head.

    it has a F under the date.  what is this and how much is it worth

  23. So I was at work and I gave my managers too much money and my manager gives me money back and there was a buffalo nickel in it.
    The thing is, it doesn’t have a date, it doesn’t have a Mint mark, no F on the front. It doesn’t even say “Liberty” on the front.

    I’m not sure if this is valuable or not… Help.

    1. Stefany,

      Your Buffalo nickel has been so well worn that the date no longer is visible. Dateless Buffalo nickels are worth around 50 cents.

    1. Emily,

      The “F” is the initial for Earl Fraser, who was the designer of the Buffalo nickel. Your 1936 Buffalo nickel is worth around $1 to $2.

  24. Hi I Have A 1937-F Nickel But On The Other Side There is The Date 1937 and right under the three there’s this tiny tiny tiny!Little F right under the three what does it mean/Also whats it worth?

    1. Hi –

      The “F” is the last initial of the Buffalo nickel’s designer, James E. Fraser. A 1937 Buffalo nickel in typical, worn condition is worth around $1.

    1. The F is the designer name of the Buffalo Nickel (Earl Fraser) And in good condition (G-4), most likely $1. Very good (VG-8)–$1.50, Fine (F-12)–$1.75 and so on. Those are what the 1936 Buffalo Nickels are worth, unless you have a three legged one which is around $850.00. (All amounts according to the Red Book (for coins).

  25. I have never heard of a 3 1/2 legged 1919 buffalo nickel before. There is nothing in the Red Book (for coins) that says anything about one of those. One of the legs “may” have partially rubbed off but if it hasn’t, then you have made a very good find. But otherwise (if one of the legs has rubbed off, then it depends on what condition its in and the mint mark.

    Best of luck.

  26. I have a 1937 gold buffalo nickel. Is it worth any thing? I would also like to know if the coin was gold plated before leaving the mint, or if this is something someone did after it reached circulation. Thanks.

    1. Great hypothesis, D! In fact, your 1937 Buffalo nickel was gold plated after it left the U.S. Mint. The plating of your coin makes it a novelty coin. Such a piece may be worth $1 to $2.

    1. Hi, Phil –

      Without seeing the coin in hand it is hard to say, but the most likely situation is that the doubling appears on your coin due to die deterioration and is not really going to add much, if any, value to your coin.

  27. I have a 1914 D Buffalo Head Nickel that looks almost dark red in excellent condition. How much do you think it might be worth?

    1. Hi, Michele –

      Hmm, well it’s hard to say for sure without seeing an image of the coin, but usually reddish coloration on a nickel is some type of oxidation.

    1. Hi, Kenneth –

      A 1937 Buffalo nickel is worth around $1. The “F” on the coin actually is the initial for James F. Fraser, the coin’s designer. Thanks for your question!

  28. I have a 1936 P , but on the back under where it says FIVE CENTS it has a very small s. ? any idea of what that is about or is that common. cant see it on any pictures of any online.

    1. Hello, Jerry –

      That is the coin’s mintmark, and refers to the San Francisco mint, where your coin was made in 1936. Here’s some more info on mint marks: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/mint_marks_letters_on_coins/

  29. Hi
    I have a strange bufallo from 1937. The strangge part is that both side has an head of indian, with the date. no bufallo. It looks real , pretty good condition. Could it be a fake?

    1. Hi Yoni!

      Sounds like you have a type of novelty coin – in this case, two real Buffalo nickel obverses that were fused together. The effect is usually intended to be the “both sides is “heads,” joke, which probably helped the owner win a couple bets at the bar – or at least get a couple laughs. These types of pieces have a nominal value on the novelty coin market.

  30. Have a Buffalo Nickel, date is mostly gone. Can barely make out what looks like 1916. Looks pretty worn out.

    1. Hi, RG –

      Oh, YES – that 1916 Buffalo nickel has seen much action in nearly a century. Your is worth around $5.

      Nice trophy!

      1. I have a 1929 buffalo nickel with what looks like it has no mint mark at all under the five cents pictures to come soon – Ana

  31. I recently got a pleasant surprise in the change from a vending machine. I I got a 1920 Indian Head Buffalo Tail “D” series nickle.

    I think I have a top quality piece. The date is easily read, the Indians hair,feather and facial lines are very prominent.

    the letters of the Liberty are full and complete with very little wear.

    1920 is prominent all numbers complete and very little wear.

    The Buffalo features and tallywacker are very prominent with very little wear.

    The United States of America all letters are complete very little wear.

    E Pluribus Unit prominent and full with hardly any wear.

    Now for the D. It is a complete D easily visible.

    I am not a Coin collecter, but I definitely believe that this coin would make a great addition to someone’s collection.

    I am trying to determine it’s value. I see on here anywhere from $8.00-$110.

    I have not cleaned it, the Fatina is the way I got it and I put it in a plastic coin envelope.

    Can anyone help me out with what I have?

  32. I have tried to upload the pictures of my 1920 D Indian Head Buffalo Tail nickel but I couldn’t. The quality of the pictures are to big for this forum. I I will email the pictures to the ones that are interested.

    1. Hello, Johnny!

      Wonderful find! You’ll be pleased to know that your 1920-D Buffalo nickel is worth at least $8 to $10 and possibly quite a bit more based on the coin’s condition.

      Thanks for sharing your incredible find!

      1. Thanks for replying ,I took the nickle to a Numismatic and he didn’t even look at the details of the coin. He said that it was to dark. I did not try to clean it because it was recommended not to.

        He offered me 25 cents. I still have the coin.

        What do you recommend I do?

        1. Hello, Johnny —

          I see that the coin is indeed darker than most specimens, but I advise that the coin is worth more than 25 cents, that’s for sure. Catalog value for a “problem-free” piece with this amount of wear is around $10 to $12. Let’s say the darkness of the coin cuts the value in half, and then you’re offered half of THAT amount (it’s typical for a coin dealer to pay between 50 and 75 percent of a coin’s book value, based on the dealer). That means the coin is still worth at least $2 or $3. I wonder if the dealer even noticed that this is a “D” mint nickel, not the much less valuable Philadelphia mint version.

          Of course, it might not be worth traveling all over town just for the sake of a few dollars, but if you’re interested in selling this coin, I’d look for a better price than 25 cents.

          Thanks for checking in!
          Josh @ TheFunTimesGuide

  33. Found 2 x 1929 Buffalo nickels from separate sources with what looks like missprints: a perfectly circular impression that transects the “FIVE CENTS” at the bottom, the right margin, the bison’s butt, the “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” inscription, a portion of the bison’s head down along the left margin, and back to the “FIVE CENTS” inscription. First thought someone scored the coin (motive unk) but then found a second coin with similar but not identical/incomplete scoring. Sorry, photo won’t upload (more than 2MBs); can send via email if you supply address. Research suggests no known error coin. Thoughts?

    1. Hi, Fox —

      If the round marks are impressions INTO the coin and aren’t raised, I highly suspect they are the result of post-mint damage. Circular impressions are commonly formed by coin machines and therefore I’m not surprised that you find similar (but not perfectly identical) markings on two coins of the same date.

      Best,
      Josh

  34. Hi I’m pretty new to this coin collection thing but came across this was wondering if it was worth anything thanks

    1. Hi, Jonothan —

      You might be new at coin collecting, but you’re already doing well at it. Your 1918 Buffalo nickel is worth $5 to $6!

      Keep up the great work, and please let us know if you have any other coin questions!

      Best,
      Josh

  35. Found this nickel 1936 with no mint mark. The Indian’s feathers are gold on the front. Can’t find anything like it online. Why are the feathers gold? Does that make it worth a lot more?

    1. Hi, Da N-o,

      The gold alteration to this nickel, which renders this as an altered piece, keeps its value at around $1 as a novelty coin.

      Best,
      Josh

    1. Hello, Gregory —

      Your coin is worthy of a pic so I can see how much it might be worth despite the scratches. You may post the photo here in the comments section.

      Thank you,
      Josh

    1. Hi, Mari —

      1936 Buffalo nickels are worth 75 cents to $1.50 in well-worn grades. Any coin dealer will buy one but may not offer as much as I mentioned. your best bet may be selling it on eBay.

      Here’s more info on finding a coin dealer if that’s the route you wish to go: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/

      Good luck!
      Josh

  36. I have a 2005 buffalo nickel , but the head is off set only the face is showing the back of the head is cut off maybe an mistake
    at print?

    1. Hello, Jayson —

      Is there a mintmark (tiny “D” or “S”) under the words “FIVE CENTS” on the reverse?

      If this is a 1926-D, it is worth around $8 to $10, and if it is a 1926-S, the value is about $20. If there is a no mintmark, it is worth 85 cents to $1.

      Here’s more info on mintmarks: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/mint_marks_letters_on_coins/

      Best,
      Josh

    1. Hi, Liam —

      It is hard to tell from the lighting if your piece has been heavily polished or is gold plated. At any rate, I would put the value of your piece at around $1 to $2; judging from the photo, it appears to contain nice “Fine+” to “Very Fine” surface details.

      Best,
      Josh

  37. I don’t know if this is real but it’s pretty big and it’s has an s under the five cent. How much is it worth

      1. Hi, Ariel —

        This is a replica, and it’s a neat looking one with some great detail. It’s a nice piece to display!

        Thank you for letting us check this piece out!
        Josh

    1. Hi, Manuel —

      Your 1937 Buffalo nickel, assuming it has sustained a fair amount of circulation wear, is worth about $1.

      Neat coin!
      Josh

  38. Hey I have a 1926 buffalo nickel from Philadelphiaif I was to sell it how much would I get for it

    1. Hi, Shimurda!

      Your 1926 Buffalo nickel is worth about $1.25 to $1.50 in that condition. If you still feel it’s worth selling, you may consider checking out this link on tips about how to find a good coin dealer: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/

      Good luck,
      Josh

    1. Hi, Sherry —

      Would you please post a photo of these two pieces so I can further help you ascertain their values?

      Thank you,
      Josh

    1. Hi, Adam —

      The “F” is the initial of coin designer James Fraser. Your 1937 Buffalo nickel is worth approximately $1.50.

      Cool find!
      Josh

    1. Hello, AJ —

      There are several variables in terms of nickel coloration, most of them caused by exposure to chemicals and fumes. Your coin may have also been plated with gold, which is something that would have happened outside of the U.S. Mint and does not increase its value. I’m leaning toward the possibility that your coin was gold plated given the appearance of the color, though it’s possible the coin has toned a golden yellow (I’ve seen many older nickels toned in this fashion).

      Only an in-hand evaluation would help make a determination since lighting in the photo can make this a difficult call. If you’re interested in an in-hand evaluation, you may consider talking with a local coin dealer. Here’s info on how to find a reputable coin dealer: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/

      And here’s a searchable list of coin dealers: https://png.memberclicks.net/find-a-png-dealer

      Good luck,
      Josh

  39. What is the buffalo nickel 1936 and an E on it mean .and it’s invaded in plastic with the card thing on it .I’m interested
    learning more about old coins and currency .like a 1969 diez Pecos paper money with hidalgo picture on it .any advise or insight is welcomed.

    1. Hi, Tammie —

      There is no “E” minted on a Buffalo nickel, so perhaps it’s either a post-Mint counterstamp or perhaps you’re looking at the “F,” which is the designer initial for James Fraser, who created the Buffalo nickel design.

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoy learning about old coins. We have a great many articles on U.S. coins here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins, and I invite you to check them out. New articles are being added all of the time.

      Here are a few pieces on U.S. coins that you may find interesting:

      Old Copper Pennies — Which Ones To Save, Which Ones To Save & What They’re Worth — https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/copper-pennies/

      U.S. Coins Worth More Than Face Value: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/us-coins/

      5 Unusual Coins To Collect: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coins_to_collect/

      Good luck, and please check back!
      Josh

  40. I have what looks like possibly a 1936 buffalo nickel proof. Is there anyway you can help me determine a value for this coin?

    1. Hello, Katie —

      Very, very interesting… this is not a proof, but rather what looks like possibly a visually stunning error. It may be post-mint damage, but I am pretty sure it’s not based on the photo. I wish I could inspect this in-hand. Since I can’t, I strongly recommend you have it evaluated by a coin professional who can. I suggest you submit it to a third-party grading firm, a coin variety expert, or a nearby reputable coin dealer.

      Here are some tips:

      Third-party coin grading: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/
      Coin die variety/error expert: https://doubleddie.com/
      How to find a good coin dealer: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/
      A partial nationwide list of coin dealers: pngdealers.org

      What a great find! Good luck, and please check back and let us know what you find out.

      Best,
      Josh

  41. I found this beauty online and am looking for more information. I was of course hoping it to be a matte proof type, but I am starting to realize that may be unrealistic. Could you provide any insight please?

    1. Hi, Louis —

      This is a beautiful piece. I’m not sure… it may be a proof. The rim looks very square (as it should on a proof of that era) but I can’t tell for sure. Lighting and angles are very important considerations when judging a matte proof from the early 1910s. I suggest you get this piece certified so you can get official confirmation in an in-hand, sight-seen setting. Either way, it will be worth your effort. It’s a very nice specimen with amazing surface quality, luster, and color.

      Here are some tips concerning coin certification companies: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/

      Good luck!
      Josh

  42. I found this buffalo nickel and unfortunately there is no date, but what confused me the most is “FIVE GENTS” and not “FIVE CENTS”?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2f8c3cd9684125b0ac82ec1585c53109520c567863317a6cc72a60329ccbf174.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f4d50fcc06203f357518b40ae5f79c993911f731cdbfc2afbf47249409676d2d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5944ee8ebb2e45883085f1fb7acf5c48a75f363b43032fd14f42a5b1677958d2.jpg I found this buffalo

    1. Hi, Ross —

      This appears to be a post-mint alteration. Buffalo nickels were notoriously transformed into various designs over the years. The FIVE GENTS wording is a satirical alteration of sorts. Those who collect altered Buffalo nickels, often called “Hobo Nickels,” may possibly pay anywhere from $1 to $5 for such a piece.

      Best,
      Josh

  43. Hey josh i have two 1936 nickle with the letter D is it possible for you to tell me a price for it https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d9d73937402e37688564361198f550af8456c6789e0bd6e4db296512995ee3e7.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/945fa61d53da9ea7063fa9760869a226e820ff47c9bba1f7ed60c317d1c6701b.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d69627cc2234cfc2999417bed62cd234e16c1f8ecf3b0dc1ca0c1b9109944a8c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/004281e3bd5a314059e47150695e1366319f4b20c293c31efb3ab08255cbb82f.jpg

    1. Hi, Randy —

      This is a nice, original 1936-D Buffalo nickel that is worth roughly $1 to $1.25.

      Cool coin!
      Josh

  44. Hey! I might have a 1936-d 3 1/2 leg buffalo nickel! what do you think? I could be mistaken I am new to this https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9d3a892455788057197216b4876da437167b726f75398b6cb1391b690cf959e5.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/35da39760a5a5aee8f10d0824fdc68d385818593a71aa8a16fedc238868e40b1.jpg

    1. Hi, Arose —

      I’m impressed by your awareness of the 1936 3-1/2-leg Buffalo variety, but this piece looks to be normal.

      Keep looking! There are plenty of error coins out there just waiting to be found!

      Best,
      Josh

  45. has anyone heard of a buffalo nickel with only one side. It is a 1936, with only the indian head side – the flip side (buffalo) is completely blank – not ground or warn off – just blank.

    1. Hi, Brian —

      Would you please submit a photo of this coin? I’ll be able to better assist once I can see the coin and get a look at what’s going on.

      Thank you!
      Josh

      1. i have the same coin it has rings on the back side like some kind of metal grain pattern

  46. I have a 1936 buffalo nickle in great condition. It has a “f” under the year and no mint mark. Any idea how much this is worth??

    1. Hi, Shawn —

      Assuming your 1936 Buffalo nickel exhibits average wear for its age, it’s worth about $1 to $1.25. The “F” is the initial of Buffalo nickel designer James Fraser, while the lack of a mintmark indicates the coin was made at the Philadelphia Mint.

      Thank you for your question!
      -Josh

  47. Hi I’m Lizzie my husband found this perfect 1936 buffalo nikel there is nothing wrong with it everything is in perfect shape dates and all although it don’t have a mint mark but it is hardly worn at all how much is it worth I have been to some sites and it goes up to 20,000 that can’t be right

    1. Hi, Elizabeth —

      Would you please submit a photo of the 1936 Buffalo nickel? It’s true that the finest specimens of a 1936 Buffalo nickel can sell for five figures, but the vast majority of circulated specimens that still show a date on the obverse (heads side) are worth $1 to $3 each. Perhaps the one your husband found was a mint state, uncirculated specimen?

      Best,
      Josh

  48. Hi I have a 1920 usa buffalo 5 cent coin. When I look at the coin on the buffalo side, and then flip it over the indian head is upside down, is that how the coin was made or is it a mule? Can anyone help me with this please.

    1. Hi, Michael —

      This is called “coin orientation,” and many nations employ this method when striking coins — the obverse and reverse are oriented opposite directions of each other. Other nations employ “medal orientation,” in which both the obverse and reverse are both oriented the same direction.

      Buffalo nickels, and virtually all other U.S. coins, are struck in coin orientation, so, the Indian should be facing up while the Buffalo is upside down.

      If both sides face up, your coin is either an error piece or, more likely, an altered coin as it’s very unlikely an error could occur in which both the obverse and reverse are facing the same direction.

      I hope this info is helpful!
      -Josh

  49. A dateless coin, showing the effects of circulation on the Buffalo nickel. This is a Type II reverse how much would it be worth.

  50. What about a gold Indian and buffolo coin still in plastic case? Can’t find it anywhere ,its also dateless

    1. Hi, Rain —

      Would you please post a photo of this coin so I can help you further?

      Thank you,
      Josh

        1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c9d7454107de4299889e179ae39f3d900e1b14d0cca8a4021bd1c8eec97bf72f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/91d206f70b61a6294702e9eb7cab2dba277a49b492503a4197acef0204cc3960.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6af65ddc85f0f71a3836534da4c8130669ab0ab169edc60e1b5c90c7f57bf30a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4010b481b3ecc423d8df9b19b5aa198c28b027a58f62e8e7ff0b53c6e989c597.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bf90c55ad90278b39f03a99dc60f45b2a2a4137b1b40bf6f9b0ec464a3610b38.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b2b589e87d28ee3aa4b7719b809102f85d13958cf08cc36faff4775a3cc50867.jpg

          1. Hi, Rain —

            Based on what I see in the photos, you have an ordinary Buffalo nickel that was gold plated by somebody outside of the Mint; the Mint did not make any gold Buffalo nickels. It may come as a surprise to learn the amount of gold on a plated coin like this is valued at only 1 or 2 cents. This piece is worth perhaps $1 or so as a novelty coin.

            Best wishes,
            Josh

  51. Hi Josh~

    My husband and I work at a restaurant in our little town and one day we stumbled across a couple old wheat ears and now we find ourselves sifting thru the change in. Our register in hopes that we find that one special coin that will send us into early retirement lol. We have actually found a couple of coins that I myself find amazing! My most recent find is a 38 D Buffalo Nickel. It seems to be in extremely good condition, with very little ware if any. I was wondering if you could maybe give me your opinion on the grade of this coin and approx. Value. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/10f8b17bc4b122e09b517a3c06fd83b71d681e3626cbe2a542454e02a4dff60c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9facc3bd65616154ae9fb31e575174b77a29c1f8c3eb709027f95892aacf3ffd.jpg

    1. Hello, Shaunda!

      I am pleased to tell you that you’ve found a very high-grade Buffalo nickel that may grade as high as About Uncirculated, based on what I see in the photos (grading is usually best done in-hand and under a steady light source with 5-10X magnification). This coin is worth about $3 to $5 perhaps, if my opinion on the grade stands upon an in-hand inspection.

      I’ll tell you this — you and your husband are in a very good position to find some legitimately valuable coins. I suggest you check out this post on the most valuable coins you can find among the six main denominations: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/us-coins/

      I hope it’s helpful, and most of all I wish you guys the best of luck in finding some more valuable coins. Please don’t be shy in posting more of your finds here!

      Best wishes,
      Josh

      1. Thank you so much Josh, I really appreciate the info you have suggested!! I have been able to obtain this buffalo nickel as well as 2-1940 Jefferson Nickels – 1 S and 1 D mint,a 1945 Silver War Time Jefferson Nickel large S mint, 1946 and 1950 No Mint, 1953 D mint and 1970 S mint Jefferson Nickels and a Jefferson 1969 Dmint that looks as though it may possibly be a proof?!? a mercury dime dated 1934 Mint not visible due to ware, 1954 and 1961 No mint Silver Dimes. We have also found several Wheat Ears dated 43, 44, 2-45s, 46, 49 and 53 all No Mint marks and 2-56s and 3-57s all D mint. 1973 D mint Kennedy half dollar and several bicentennial quarters. Not to shabby for a couple months of sifting if I do say so myself! I’m aware most may not be worth much if any at all but having coins dating that far back is like holding a part of America’s history in my hands and to me that is priceless.

        I was also wondering if you would know of anywhere I can buy cheap coin protectors or those binder sheets the are made to hold the coins in a 3 ring binder? Remember I’m a waitress so I need like wine taste with beer money cheap lol….

        Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us and we look forward to talking with you about our growing collection.

        Thanks a Bushel,
        Shaunda & William

        1. Good morning, Shaunda and William!

          I’m so glad I can help! It sounds like you both are making some terrific finds — many more than most collectors would probably find during that same period of time of pocket change searches alone. You’re correct in that none of the coins are necessarily of super-high value, though everything you listed, combined, is probably worth $8 to $10 (not counting the bicentennial quarters), assuming everything to be in circulated condition. Maybe more, maybe a tad less — but you’re definitely finding coins that are generally worth much more than their face values.

          Did I ever share a link that lists the most valuable coins of each denomination? If not, here it is: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/us-coins/

          My personal-favorite online coin dealers for inexpensive (but well-made) coin supplies are:

          Wizard Coin Supply – https://www.wizardcoinsupply.com/
          Jake’s Marketplace – https://www.jakesmp.com/

          There are others, too, but these are the online dealers I normally turn to for supplies — they’ve both been in the business for decades. I’m sure you’ll find them helpful!

          Good luck — and cheers!
          Josh

  52. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d7626b53046fc37e0afc8a9a72e0bab1a1223ad738f9351f586c041f25903e97.png
    Hi josh,
    Not sure if this feed is still active but I have a gold necklace that belonged to my grandmother. The pendent appears to be an eagle clutching a buffalo nickel. I will try to attach a picture. Couldn’t find anything online about it’s origin, worth or how many similar pendants were made. Thoughts? Any feedback is helpful! You seem quite knowledgable and detail-oriented!

    1. Hi, Jacqueline —

      I’m not certain, but given the shape of the lettering and some design variances I think the Buffalo nickel in this pendant might be a replica. However, I can’t seem to blow up the photo very large so I might be mistaken.

      I can tell you that the value of this pendant is likely more as a piece of jewelry/accessory than for the coin itself, even if the nickel is authentic. Perhaps someone in a jewelry forum might be able to assist you on finding a value for the pendant as a whole.

      Thank you for reaching out!
      Josh

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