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(1913-1938) Indian Head / Buffalo Nickel

CoinTrapTM Commentary: The Indian Head / Buffalo Nickel coin features a profile of an American Indian on the obverse of the coin and an American bison (buffalo) on the reverse of the coin. James Earle Fraser designed this nickel, which is widely considered to be among the best of coin designs.

In 1918, some of these nickels were minted using a “redated” die salvaged from 1917. The coin that resulted is known as the 1918/7-D nickel, and is widely sought after.  Another key date is 1937, where a flawed polishing procedure at the mint resulted in a “three legged” buffalo on the reverse of the coin.  Some of the higher quality three legged buffalos trade for upwards of a half of a million dollars.

Coin Value: What is the value of your Indian Head / Buffalo nickel? Well, as is often the case in life, it depends.  Nevertheless, the main factors that will determine the value or worth of your Indian Head Buffalo nickel are these: (1) your coin’s grade, (2) finish, (3) the mint mark (e.g., S for San Francisco and D for Denver), and (5) scarcity/demand. Regarding your coin’s grade, it has become a standard in the field of numismatics (coin collecting) to grade coins on a point-scale from 1 (poor) to 70 (perfect). This is also referred to as the “Mint State” or just “MS” for short. Click here to find the up-to-date estimated value of your Buffalo nickel coin from the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS®), which takes the factors mentioned above into account*. If you do not know the grade of your Indian Head Buffalo nickel coin, you can take it to your local coin dealer and ask that they have it graded at one of the three major coin grading services.

Indian Head Buffalo Nickel Coin Mint Years: 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938

3-Legged Indian Head Buffalo Nickel - Obverse

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3-Legged Indian Head Buffalo Nickel - Reverse

Obverse - 3-Legged Indian Head / Buffalo Nickel

Designer: James E. Fraser

Reverse - 3-Legged Indian Head / Buffalo Nickel

Designer: James E. Fraser

Indian Head Buffalo Nickel - Obverse

Indian Head Buffalo Nickel - Reverse

Obverse - Indian Head / Buffalo Nickel

Designer: James E. Fraser

Reverse - Indian Head / Buffalo Nickel

Designer: James E. Fraser

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    James Fraser contacted the US Mint in 1911 and suggested a new design for the American nickel, which would include an American Indian Chief and an American Bison, unique icons of American history.  His perseverance eventually led to his being selected to design the Indian Head / Buffalo nickel, which entered circulation in 1913.

* CoinTrapTM is not affiliated with the PCGS®.  By clicking on the link above, you are opening a browser window containing content provided by a third party website and you will be subject to any terms and conditions as set forth on that website.

 

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