Buffalo Nickels


The Buffalo Nickel is one of the most popular US coin designs. Also known as the Indian Head Nickel, this coin carries the enduring image of a Native American chief on the obverse, along the famous depiction of an American Bison on the reverse. The images used on the coin are famous for their depiction of the native beauty and history of the American West.

Buffalo Nickel

Buffalo Nickels were designed by James E. Fraser. The coins were minted for circulation from 1913 to 1938 at the Denver, Philadelphia, and San Francisco mints. The series includes some notable highlights and key date coins that make the series both a challenge and a pleasure to collect.

One of the most collectible varieties of the 20th century is included, the 1937-D Three Legged Buffalo Nickel. The buffalo pictured on the coin is missing one of the front legs, although the hoof and stump at the bottom of the leg remain visible. This fascinating error was caused when a mint employee ground the leg off of the mint die when trying to remove some other marks. This coin is an important and desirable issue of the series since many collectors desire an example for their sets.

Besides the circulation strike issues, Proof Buffalo Nickels were minted for few years. The limited mintages gives them a special appeal for collectors. Matte proof coins were minted for the initial years of the series from 1913 to 1917. Following this brief run, proof coins were not minted again until the final years of the series from 1936 to 1937. when most examples were struck with a brilliant finish.

This site provides basic information on Buffalo Nickels for an introduction to the series. A selection of PCGS and NGC certified Buffalo Nickels for sale are also presented.