Black, Brown and Red Buffalo Nickels by James B. Winter

When I was 11, I found a Buffalo Nickel in the horse pasture behind our house. It was the first Buffalo Nickel I had ever seen. A 1937 D (four leg), with an almost chocolate brown color. I knew nothing of old nickels, but marveled at the beauty of the old coin. From that day on my interest grew in Metal Detecting for old lost coins. I later learned from a picture on a coin magazine and through my added interest in the beautifully crafted coin that I apparently had the only brown one. As the years went by (and after I bought my first metal detector) I discovered that all nickels came out of the ground black, brown, and even sometimes red. Nickels are made from the metal nickel, and while nickel is far more durable than silver or copper, it corrodes much more easily. However not every Buffalo nickel with color is lost and found. When nickels are exposed to air, tobacco, or other adverse storage conditions, it can add quite a variety of colors to an already interesting Buffalo.