Buffalo Nickel Information


(The information shown below represents the cumulative research from Bowie Coin Club members as well as noted authorities on Buffalo Nickels. Their names appear throughout these pages. Questions can be answered by clicking the "contact" tab above.)

1) The Value of Buffalo Nickels.

The value of Buffalo nickels are based upon condition, quantity and demand. Use the following guide:

See the Price Guide

2) Condition Makes a "Big" Difference.

Condition of a Buffalo Nickel greatly increases or decreases the value. For example a 1927S Buffalo Nickel in "Good" condition is worth $1.50, but the same coin in Flawless Mint condition is worth $2,000. To determine the condition of a Buffalo Nickel see the photo and grade examples.

See the Grading Guide

3) Visiting the Coin Shop.

Buying Buffalo Nickels:

If you are purchasing an expensive coin, make sure the Bill of Sale clearly identifies the coin. If the Dealer is reluctant, you might want to consider checking with another Dealer for the purchase. Ask the Dealer what the return policy is, and if the policy is in writing. Most Dealers won't mind giving you something in writing. Ask if the price is the lowest he/she can offer for the coin. It never hurts to ask, and sometimes Dealers will offer a discount for various reasons, but it takes the buyer to ask first. Ask the Dealer if you take the coin to a coin grading service and the coin is graded at a lower grade than they sold it for, what will the Dealer do about it. In other words, if an error was made and the coin was over graded, will the Dealer make an adjustment on the price, or a refund? Before making any large purchase, check out the Dealer on the Internet via coin clubs, chat groups, news groups, etc. and find out what others have to say.

Selling Buffalo Nickels:

Do your Research!! We suggest the best possible guide for you to follow.

Read this before selling Buffalo Nickels.

4) Buffalo Nickels Without Dates.

When a Buffalo Nickel is missing a date, it is from normal wear as the date is one of the first things to wear. Older Buffalo Nickels frequently only show the last two digits. There is a method as described on the following page to restore the date.

See the photos and instructions.

5) Clean is NOT good.

Frequently Buffalo Nickels are covered in paint, nail polish, rust, grease, or just stained an awful red color. Take the test, can you tell a cleaned from a not cleaned coin?

See if you should clean a coin.

6) Getting a Buffalo Nickel Graded.

A good general rule is that if the value of a Buffalo Nickel is $300.00 or more, get it graded by one of the major coin grading services.

Go to one of these Grading Services.

7) Mint Marks on Buffalo Nickels.

Under the words FIVE CENTS, there will be a "D" or an "S" or it will be blank (no letter under the FIVE CENTS). The "D" is for the Denver Mint and the "S" is for the San Francisco Mint. If there is no D or S then the coin was minted in Philadelphia. Buffalo Nickels are nortorious for errors during minting. There are numerous examples of the D being printed over the S and sometimes the D is double stamped. These error coins are worth more than a pure minted coin and you will need high powered magnification to see the error.

8) Type I & Type II Buffalo Nickels.

When the Buffalo Nickel first appeared in 1913, there were two types; Type I & Type II. The difference can be seen on the page link below. Keep in mind there is a big difference in value. A 1913 S Type I is worth less than $200.00 while a 1913 S Type II is worth well over $1,000. It is worth it for you to know the difference.

See the Type I and Type II Buffalo Nickel.

9) The World of Hobo Nickels



The HOBO nickel represents a time period when people had to be creative just to survive.

What is a Hobo Nickel ?

See an Authentic Hobo Nickel and know how to spot a forgery.