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1913 to 1938 Buffalo Nickels

The Buffalo Nickel was produced from 1913 to 1938. This U.S. coin is also known as the Indian head nickel. Mint marks for the coins are on the reverse, beneath the words Five Cents. The Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints all produced the Buffalo Nickel. However, the San Francisco generally had a much smaller annual production.

Designed by James Earle Fraser, the model for the reverse was a buffalo named Black Diamond from New York City's Central Park Zoo. The obverse has a composite profile of a three real Native American chiefs named John Big Tree, Iron Tail and Two Moons.

Because of wear problems many early buffalo nickels dates have been completely worn off. Dateless buffalo nickels can have their dates restored by applying a ferric chloride solution to the date area. In 1937 excessive polishing of a Denver mint die removed most of the right foreleg, leading to the famous three legged variety.

1913 Buffalo Nickel      1913 Type 2 Buffalo Nickel

1913 Type 2 Buffalo Nickel

Some 1.2 billion buffalo nickels were issued during the coin's 26-year lifespan and is a very popular coin among collectors. The best place to purchase Buffalo Nickel is at eBay. Most of these coins are expensive in the better grades and rare years. However, if you just want one or two for your collection look for Buffalo Nickels dated 1919, 1920, 1923, 1924 in the grades of fine, very fine or better. You should be able to find a nice specimen for your collection in the $10.00 or less range.

1920 Buffalo Nickel

Here's a nicely detailed 1920 Buffalo Nickel. The coin has a trace of light toning and exhibits excellent eye appeal. Well struck with no major marks. It had an opening bid of just 99 cents and went unsold. Great deals can be found on eBay. You can even buy rolls (20) of common date buffalo nickels for $10.00 to $20.00 and is a great way to start your collection.

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