How to Know If Your Buffalo Nickel is Valuable

Buffalo nickels are one of the most beloved US coins. Collectors enjoy collecting them because of their distinctive designs and symbols connected to American culture.

Minted from 1913 to 1938, these five-cent coins are valued based on their condition and mintmarks. If a Buffalo nickel is heavily worn but has a date readable, it is worth well above its face value.


When you’re looking to buy a Buffalo Nickel, the condition of the coin can make or break its value. A mint state coin with a readable date can be worth a lot of money, while a coin with a few blemishes and in circulated condition may only be worth a couple of dollars.

If you’re unsure of the condition of your Buffalo Nickel, it’s a good idea to consult a numismatist or professional dealer. They can help you identify any rare varieties and guide you in determining your coin’s value.

To determine the general condition of your coin, it’s important to look for a few common signs. These include fading, scratches, stains, and dirt.

Generally speaking, older coins will have more wear than newer ones. They can also be more difficult to spot, so a magnifying glass is a great tool for identifying these issues.

It’s also a good idea to examine the coin’s color. Older nickels are typically darker, with a copper-like appearance. This makes them more valuable, as collectors will pay a premium for coins that have an attractive bronze or copper-like color.

Another way to assess the condition of your Buffalo Nickel is to check for die errors. Some errors are relatively common and shouldn’t be a concern for most collectors, but others can be rare and highly valuable.

For example, die gouge errors are caused when foreign items penetrate through the die and create irregular shapes on the surface of the coin. These are especially common in 2005 Buffalo nickels struck at the Denver mint, known for its minting quality.

A Speared buffalo error, on the other hand, is an error that appears when a foreign object from the dies enters and exits the bison’s body. This happens when a piece of metal from the dies sticks to the surface of the nickel and tries to escape.

If you have a 2005 Buffalo nickel with this error, it’s worth $100 or more. It’s also one of the rarest die errors in the series.


Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned collector, knowing the value of your Buffalo Nickel can make all the difference. Depending on their condition, mintmarks, and design, these coins can be worth anywhere from a few cents to thousands of dollars.

One of the most important things to consider when assessing the value of your Buffalo Nickel is its date. The date can help you determine whether it is a rare variety or an error coin. However, it is not a foolproof indicator of its worth.

You can also try rubbing a little ferric chloride acid on the surface of your Buffalo Nickel to see if the date is still legible. This can sometimes reveal the wear on the date, but you should be careful as using chemicals on your coin’s surface could harm it.

If the date is completely worn off, then you might be able to restore it by rubbing the coin with a piece of metal, such as nail clipping or paper clipping. You must be careful; the acid can stain your coin or damage your skin.

Another option is to use a magnifying glass to examine your coin closely. This will help you identify the design and date of your coin and determine its grading.

According to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), a 1913 Buffalo nickel with the “five cents” in raised type can be worth eight dollars or more. Likewise, the “five cents” in recessed lettering on later-issue Type 2 Buffalo nickels can be worth 30 to 40 dollars.

While these coins aren’t as rare as some other types, they are often worth a lot of money because of their uniqueness. For example, a 1919-S buffalo nickel with a double die is rare, but it’s worth several hundred dollars if it is in mint state.

If you’re wondering how much your Buffalo Nickel is worth, a good place to start is by checking out similar coins on eBay. You can even use an online numismatic calculator to get a rough idea of how much you might be able to sell yours for if you were to go to an auction.

Mint Mark

The mint mark on a Buffalo Nickel tells you a lot about its history and origin. It also helps you determine its value and if it is worth collecting. You can find out the mint mark on the coin’s reverse side or the front of its obverse, which features the Native American and the design of the bison.

Some of the most valuable Buffalo nickels have mint marks that say “Denver” or “San Francisco” on them. Collectors covet these dates and can be worth a lot of money.

Another important aspect of the mint mark on a Buffalo Nickel is its date. Collectors highly seek after these coins, and they can be worth a great deal of money, especially if they have a mint error.

If you are unsure about your coin’s date, bring it to an appraiser for further inspection. Depending on the mint, a buffalo nickel with a date in good condition is worth at least eight dollars to $30.

You can also find a Buffalo nickel with a rare minting error, making it incredibly valuable. For example, 1914 4 Over 3 buffalo nickel has a minting error where a 3 is added to the coin’s overcast 4. These errors are rare and have high values, so if you find one, it’s worth bringing it to an appraiser for further analysis.

Other minting errors include a Speared Buffalo, a type of die gouge error that occurs when a foreign object penetrates through the buffalo’s body. This error appears on some of the 2005 Buffalo nickels minted at the Denver Mint.

These coins are highly valuable and are often worth up to $7,116 if they are in good condition. You can find these coins at auction and in many numismatic shops.

The grading of Buffalo Nickels is a market-oriented process that takes into account their surface quality, wear, and the overall appearance of the coin. Generally, a well-struck coin with full luster and clean surfaces will typically be graded MS-65 or higher. However, graders may lower the coin by a few points if the coin has weak areas. This is particularly true for the key and semi-key dates of this series.


If you’re a coin collector, you know that knowing the value of your coins is essential. Especially when it comes to rare coins like Buffalo Nickels.

A common way to tell if your coins are valuable is by looking at the design. The Buffalo Nickel was designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser and first minted in 1913. The obverse features the profile of a Native American, while the reverse depicts a buffalo.

While the design of the Buffalo Nickel was not perfect, it was a very unique coin in its time. It was the first numismatic design to feature an American Indian on one side and a buffalo on the other.

Many people have difficulty identifying the design of their Buffalo Nickels, which is why the coins’ value can be difficult to determine. Several factors can influence a Buffalo Nickel’s value, including its mintmark and its condition.

Once you’ve determined the date, look at the coin closely under a magnifying glass. This will help you spot any missing details and determine its grade.

It’s also important to compare the design on your coin with grading images. You can find this information on the Internet or at your local coin shop.

Another way to judge the design of your Buffalo Nickel is by looking at the color. Every coin has its own unique color, and this can be very helpful in determining its value.

If the coin you are examining has a coppery or bronze hue, it’s likely worth more than a nickel with a silvery tone. This color is a good indicator of its age and can indicate that it is in better condition than other types.

You can also look for a doubled die. These errors are very rare in Buffalo Nickels, and they are very desirable for collectors.

A coin with a doubling die is usually valued at a premium over other types. However, this type is also very difficult to obtain in uncirculated grades. So, if you have the opportunity to purchase a Buffalo Nickel with a doubling die, don’t miss it!

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