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Buffalo (Indian Head) Nickel Values and Prices

How Much Is My Buffalo (or Indian Head) Nickel Worth?

By , About.com Expert

Example of an Indian Head or Buffalo Nickel
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com

This value guide will give you an approximate value for your Buffalo nickels (also called Indian Head nickels).

Market Analysis

Indian Head nickels have been fairly stable over the last few years. Some of the key dates and rarities have seen some decline since reaching their peak in 2008. Since these coins do not contain any silver or gold, they do not react with the prices of these precious metals. But don't walk in to a coin shop with a jar of Buffalo nickels and have the coin dealer dig through them to pull out the expensive ones. If you want top dollar for your coins, you need to sort them and organize them so the dealer can clearly see what you have.

Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties

The following Indian Head nickels in any condition, are worth considerable more than common ones. As such, these coins are frequently counterfeit or altered from common Buffalo nickels. Therefore, before you start celebrating your early retirement with your new found fortune, have the coin authenticated by a reputable coin dealer or third party grading service.

  • 1913-S Type 2
  • 1916/16 (doubled die variety)
  • 1918-D 8 over 7 (doubled die variety)
  • 1921-S
  • 1924-S
  • 1926-S
  • 1937-D Three legged Buffalo
Learn More:

Condition or Grade Examples

Indian Head Nickel Average Circulated Condition Circulated Indian Head Nickel Average Uncirculated Condition Uncirculated
Click on the photos above for a larger image.
Photos courtesy of Teletrade Coin Auctions, www.teletrade.com
Learn More:

Mint Marks

Buffalo nickel were produced at three different mints: Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (D) and San Francisco (S). As illustrated in the picture below, the mint mark is located on the reverse of the coin, just below the denomination of "FIVE CENTS".

Buffalo Nickels mint mark location
Mint Mark Location
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com

Indian Head or Buffalo Nickel Average Prices and Values

The following table lists the buy price (what you can expect to pay to a dealer to purchase the coin) and sell value (what you can expect a dealer to pay to you if you sell the coin). The first column lists the date and mint mark (see the photo above) followed by the buy price and the sell value for an average circulated Buffalo nickel. All circulated prices and values assume that the date is readable and not completely worn off the face of the coin. The next two columns list the buy price and the sell value for an average uncirculated. These are approximate retail prices and wholesale values. The actual offer you receive from a particular coin dealer will vary depending on the actual grade of the coin and a number of other factors that determine its worth.

Date & Mint Circulated Uncirculated
Buy Sell Buy Sell
1913 Type 1 $11.20 $5.70 $48.00 $32.00
1913-D Type 1 $14.10 $7.30 $80.00 $60.00
1913-S Type 1 $42.00 $21.00 $150.00 $100.00
1913 Type 2 $11.50 $6.00 $56.00 $40.00
1913-D Type 2 $100.00 $50.00 $320.00 $230.00
1913-S Type 2 * $290.00 $140.00 $900.00 $700.00
1914 $17.00 $9.00 $69.00 $47.00
1914 4 over 3 $440.00 $210.00 $4,400.00 $3,100.00
1914-D $90.00 $50.00 $500.00 $330.00
1914-S $31.00 $15.00 $290.00 $210.00
1915 $6.90 $3.30 $71.00 $52.00
1915-D $26.00 $13.00 $290.00 $200.00
1915-S $59.00 $31.00 $800.00 $600.00
1916 $5.80 $2.90 $67.00 $47.00
1916 16 over 16 * $6,000.00 $3,000.00 $110,000.00 $70,000.00
1916-D $18.00 $9.00 $220.00 $160.00
1916-S $14.90 $7.30 $230.00 $170.00
1917 $5.90 $2.90 $100.00 $70.00
1917-D $29.00 $14.00 $580.00 $420.00
1917-S $43.00 $21.00 $900.00 $600.00
1918 $6.90 $3.60 $250.00 $170.00
1918-D 8 over 7 * $1,700.00 $800.00 $43,000.00 $31,000.00
1918-D $31.00 $16.00 $710.00 $520.00
1918-S $27.00 $14.00 $1,500.00 $1,100.00
1919 $3.40 $1.70 $90.00 $60.00
1919-D $29.00 $15.00 $1,200.00 $800.00
1919-S $24.00 $12.00 $1,100.00 $800.00
1920 $3.70 $1.90 $100.00 $70.00
1920-D $19.00 $10.00 $1,100.00 $700.00
1920-S $13.00 $6.20 $1,100.00 $800.00
1921 $6.10 $3.10 $220.00 $150.00
1921-S * $90.00 $50.00 $1,900.00 $1,200.00
1923 $3.60 $1.70 $110.00 $70.00
1923-S $12.90 $6.10 $680.00 $470.00
1924 $2.80 $1.40 $120.00 $80.00
1924-D $15.00 $7.00 $620.00 $420.00
1924-S * $48.00 $24.00 $2,700.00 $1,800.00
1925 $2.10 $1.00 $69.00 $49.00
1925-D $19.00 $10.00 $630.00 $450.00
1925-S $10.20 $4.90 $1,100.00 $800.00
1926 $2.20 $1.00 $54.00 $39.00
1926-D $15.00 $7.00 $390.00 $270.00
1926-S * $44.00 $21.00 $6,400.00 $4,400.00
1927 $1.20 $0.60 $62.00 $45.00
1927-D $4.70 $2.40 $280.00 $210.00
1927-S $2.70 $1.40 $1,500.00 $1,000.00
1928 $1.60 $0.80 $52.00 $38.00
1928-D $2.60 $1.30 $90.00 $60.00
1928-S $1.80 $0.90 $370.00 $260.00
1929 $1.70 $0.80 $55.00 $38.00
1929-D $1.70 $0.90 $100.00 $70.00
1929-S $1.30 $0.70 $69.00 $49.00
1930 $1.60 $0.80 $50.00 $35.00
1930-S $2.00 $1.00 $73.00 $50.00
1931-S $14.40 $7.10 $80.00 $60.00
1934 $1.30 $0.60 $49.00 $33.00
1934-D $2.50 $1.20 $100.00 $70.00
1935 $1.00 $0.50 $31.00 $22.00
1935-D $2.00 $0.90 $80.00 $50.00
1935-S $1.00 $0.50 $54.00 $38.00
1936 $1.00 $0.50 $27.00 $19.00
1936-D $1.20 $0.60 $35.00 $24.00
1936-S $1.00 $0.50 $37.00 $25.00
1937 $1.00 $0.50 $21.00 $15.00
1937-D $1.00 $0.50 $28.00 $19.00
1937-D 3 Leg * $560.00 $280.00 $3,300.00 $2,400.00
1937-S $1.00 $0.50 $28.00 $19.00
1938-D $2.80 $1.40 $24.00 $17.00
1938-D D over S $6.30 $3.00 $64.00 $45.00
Complete
Date-Mint Set

Total Coins: 61
$900.00 $420.00 $30,500.00 $21,000.00
Complete
Date Set

Total Coins: 23
$100.00 $50.00 $1,800.00 $1,300.00

* = See "Buffalo Nickel Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties" for more information on these coins.

These values have been compiled through my personal analysis of the coin market, referencing publications such as Numismatic News, Coin World, "The Official Blue Book; Handbook of U.S. Coins," The Coin Dealer Newsletter, published auction results and consulting with various coin dealers.

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