The Buffalo Nickel is a fairly common coin because people hold onto them. And if you have one, unless it is one on this list of the rarest and most valuable, we recommend you hold on to it as the value is likely to increase over time.
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What is a Buffalo Nickel?
The first Buffalo Nickels were distributed on February 22, 1913. The Buffalo nickel was produced from 1913 to 1921 and from 1923 to 1938. They stopped making the Buffalo Nickel as the design expired after 25 years, and it could not be replaced without congressional authorization.
The intricate design of this coin was its downfall; the features wore off quicker than most other types of currency. The date area was especially prone to wear, making it almost impossible to determine the date of many Buffalo nickels in circulation.
It is estimated that millions of Buffalo nickels are “dateless,” increasing the value of those with legible dates. If you are a collector of coins, these are the rarest and most valuable Buffalo Nickels to hunt down.
5. 4 Over 3 Buffalo Nickel (1914), $7,132
The 4 over 3 Buffalo Nickel was double stamped, with a four stamped over the three. This is a less obvious error than many others and can be seen by looking closely at the date. It can be identified by a small block sticking out from the left side of the top of the four and a slightly rounded edge on the upper right side. The estimated value is $7,132, but it could be more depending on the market.
4. S Buffalo Nickel (1926), $10,502
This coin is one of the rarest of all Buffalo nickels. Minted in San Francisco, only 970,000 were produced. This was the only Buffalo Nickel with a total mintage of less than a million, making it one of the rarest coins. The estimated value of this coin is $10,502, depending on its condition.
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3. D 3 and a Half Legs Buffalo Nickel (1936), $22,441
This coin’s value comes from an error in production. In this case, the Buffalo has three solid legs; the image of the front leg is weak and seems to fade away, giving the impression that the last leg is a stump. More than ten thousand of these coins are available today, and it has a value of roughly $22,441.
2. D 8 Over 7 Buffalo Nickel (1918), $64,395
Minted in Denver, this is another example of a production error coin worth big money. The 1918 date was stamped over 1917, producing a flat-topped 8 with straight lines. Since it is extremely rare, this coin is worth over a thousand dollars, even in a poor condition. The estimated cost of this rare Buffalo Nickel in good condition is a massive $64,395.
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1. Doubled Die Obverse Buffalo Nickel (1916), $159,442
This coin was struck by the production die twice, causing the date to be doubled. Like the previous example, these error coins are worth thousands of dollars no matter the condition because of rarity. You can’t see the error until you hold it up close. This is the rarest and most valuable Buffalo Nickel coin and is worth an estimated $159,442.