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Top 20 Most Valuable Buffalo Nickels Worth Money

The most valuable Buffalo Nickel is the 1918/7-D Nickel (8 Over 7), worth $500,000 in the highest grade, MS66.

Here, we will dive more into this eccentric coin and other best sellers in the Buffalo Nickel Series from 1913 to 1938. The top five include:

  1. 1918/7-D (8 Over 7) nickel – $264,500
  2. 1916 Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) nickel – $264,500
  3. 1917-S nickel – $138,000
  4. 1926-S nickel – $115,000
  5. 1919-S nickel- $109,250

Top 20 Buffalo Nickel Worth Money

Most Valuable Buffalo Nickels

Most valuable buffalo nickels are also the rarest. Their higher demand and premium prices come from their scarcity. In this list, we have curated the top rarest Buffalo nickels based on their highest auction prices, scarcity in the market, low mintage, demand, higher grades, and interesting designs.

Here is a summary table of the top 20 picks:

Buffalo Nickel Grade Highest Auction Price Realized Year Current Valuation
1918/7-D (8 Over 7) MS65 $264,500 2010 $260,000 – $500,000
1916 DDO MS64 $264,500 2005 $235,000 – $275,000
1917-S MS67 $138,000 2008 $28,000 – $36,500
1926-S MS66 $115,000 2011 $125,000 – $250,000
1919-S MS66 $109,250 2006 $85,000 – $100,000
1924-S $105,750  
1920-D MS66 $97,750 2007 $50,000 – $100,000
1913 PR68 $90,000 2022 $27,500 – $60,000
1937-D: Three-Legged MS66 $86,250 2005 $50,000 – $100,000
1923-S MS66 $67,562.50 2013 $27,500 – $75,000
1929 MS67 $63,250 2005 $9,000 – $50,000
1935 MS68 $57,500 2007 $25,000 – $55,000
1925-D MS66 $57,500 2007 $12,000
1918 MS67+ $55,200 2020 $28,500 – $70,000
1915 PR69 $52,900 2003 $60,000 – $90,000
1914-S MS67 $46,000 2008 $32,500 – $80,000
1915-S MS67 $43,125 2009 $40,000 – $50,000
1925-S MS66 $40,250 2010 $150,000
1936 Brilliant (Proof) Type 2 PR68 $40,250 2007 $30,000 – $50,000
1913-D Type 2 MS68 $25,300 2012 $37,500 – $57,500

1. 1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel (8 Over 7) – $264,500

1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel (8 Over 7)

The 1918/7 nickel is an Overdated error where 8 was struck over 7 on the date “1918”. This is what makes the coin valuable and rare. It is a bold overdate that can be seen clearly with the naked eye- the top and bottom of the 7 are rounded off into the 8 showing its outline underneath.

The value of uncirculated coins with this error starts from $35,000 at MS60 and goes up to $550,000 in MS66 which is the finest known grade. Circulated coins are also extremely valuable with the lowest grades selling for about $650. Any grade before AU58 will fetch about $1,000 – $30,000.

While the exact mintage is unknown, estimates suggest about 100,000 pieces.

Highest auction records:

2. 1916 Buffalo Nickel: Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) – $264,500

1916 Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Obverse (DDO)

The 1918/7-D was regarded as the rarest Buffalo nickel until the 1916 DDO was discovered in the past two decades.

The 1916 DDO wasn’t a known variety until fifty years after its issue. This is because the coin was highly minted with over 63 million coins struck. It took years to find the DDO issues and this dramatically increased the coin’s price since it was noted how rare it was.

The finest grade is MS64, with only three known to exist, each worth $235,000 or more.

Circulated 1916 DDO nickels are also valuable with Almost Uncirculated (AU) grades selling for at least $42,000 while the lowest grades are worth $3,000.

Highest auction records:

3. 1917-S Buffalo Nickel – $138,000

1917-S Buffalo Nickel

A little over 4 million 1917-S coins were issued. Therefore, they are not rare coins in terms of mintage.

However, note that coins in the 1920s and prior were poorly struck, particularly those from the San Francisco Mint. Meaning, that finding a Gem condition coin is extremely rare which is why the value increases significantly for any 1917-S coin above MS65.

The finest known grade is MS67, with two examples that have sold at auctions for over $90,000.

The lowest circulation grade is worth $12.50, the VF-graded version goes for $140, and AU58 is worth $650 or more.

Highest auction records:

4. 1926-S Buffalo Nickel – $115,000

1926-S Buffalo Nickel

The 1926-S Buffalo Nickel stands out with an exceptionally low mintage of 970,000 coins. It is valuable based on its rarity and the fact that 1920s nickels were poorly struck so any Mint State coin in the highest grades is bound to fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In circulated conditions, the coin is worth $12 at most $1,850. In AU grades you can get a respectable premium between $2,000 and $5,000.

Highest auction records:

5. 1919-S Buffalo Nickel – $109,250

1919-S Buffalo Nickel

1919-S is another coin valued for its exceptional few pieces that managed to survive in Gem condition. The coin was weakly struck in most of the 7.5 million pieces minted that year but a few Mint State versions have been seen at auctions over the past two decades.

MS66 is the finest with an estimated value of $100,000. Coins graded in Mint State grades will cost more than $800 but the uncirculated versions won’t be worth more than $400 in the open market.

Highest auction records:

6. 1924-S Buffalo Nickel – $105,750

1924-S Buffalo Nickel

1,437,000 regular-strike nickels were minted in 1924 at the San Francisco mint. Unlike our previously mentioned 1920s nickels above, the 1924-S nickels are rare in both circulated and uncirculated conditions.

The scarcest are Gem quality with less than 30 known to exist. The 1924 coins still faced the poor mintage quality of the time but in this year, it was less pronounced.

Common uncirculated nickels are valued by PCGS between $100 and $1,500. MS66 is the finest grade, worth up to $125,000.

If you can’t find a 1924-S then you can also take a look at the 1924-D. They are not as valuable but can still fetch a lot of money at auctions, the highest sale is for an MS66 coin sold for $44,062.50 at Heritage Auctions.

Highest auction records:

7. 1920-D Buffalo Nickel – $97,750

1920-D Buffalo Nickel

1920-S nickels are worth a lot of money partly because of scarcity in higher grades but also because of their historical significance. After striking this 1920-D nickel, the Denver Mint went for three years until 1924 without striking any nickel. This makes the coin a Key Date.

The reason behind the shutdown was due to the economic recession of 1921-1922 which affected many industrial productions across the country.

Today, circulated 1920-D nickels sell for $60 – $300 in the most common grades. The highest known grade is MS67, worth $155,000.

Highest auction records:

8. 1913 Buffalo Nickel, Type 1 & 2 – $90,000

1913 Buffalo Nickel - Type 1 and Type 2

1913 nickels came in two Types: Type 1 with “FIVE CENTS on Raised Ground and Type 2 with “FIVE CENTS in Recess. The types differentiate the denomination design element of the reverses of the coins.

This change in design happened across all coins made in Denver, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Both types from all mints are scarce in their highest grades, worth $7,000 – $30,000 according to NGC.

However, the rarest and most valuable of all are the Proof sets made in Philadelphia for both 1913 Type 1 and 2.

Only 1,520 Type 1 coins were made and only 1,514 for Type 2. According to PCGS estimates, less than a handful exist today above PR66. PR68 is the finest known grade, worth more than $25,000.

Highest auction records:

9. 1937-D Buffalo Nickel: Three-Legged – $86,250

1937-D Buffalo Nickel Three-Legged

1937-D nickel (three-legged) features a “three-legged” die error where the die was over polished leading to an almost complete removal of one leg in the image of the Buffalo (American bison) on the reverse side of the coin.

It is an eccentric variety favored by collectors for its unique appearance to the point of making it into the list of the most famous 20th-century nickels.

The highest known grade is MS67, worth $150,000.

Highest auction records:

10. 1923-S Buffalo Nickel – $67,562.50

1923-S Buffalo Nickel

1923-S nickels face the same issues as most 1920s nickels – poor quality strikes. The coin is valuable in its highest grades which are harder to find in the open market. Common circulation grades are worth $5 – $300 depending on how well-preserved the coin is.

MS66 is the finest grade, at least $27,500. Any Mint State coin will fetch between $580 -$75,000.

Highest auction record:

11. 1929 Buffalo Nickel – $63,350

1929 Buffalo Nickel

These include coins from Philadelphia (1929 “no mintmark” nickels) and San Francisco (1929-S nickels with ‘S’ mint mark).

For both, the valuation is similar to the above 1923-S nickels, they are common in circulated grades but extremely rare in Gem Conditions above MS65.

There are only a few coins above MS66 today, all worth more than $9,000.

Highest auction records:

12. 1935 Buffalo Nickel – $57,500

1935 Buffalo Nickel

1935 Nickels from Philadelphia aren’t the most valuable in general, this is because their mintage is high, they do not suffer from poor-quality production, and there are no major varieties.

However, this type makes it to this list since the MS68-graded 1935 Nickel is one of only six other Buffalo Nickels at that grade. Essentially, there are no known Buffalo nickels in MS69 or MS70.

Common circulation grades are worth $5 – $10. Uncirculated versions at MS60 are just $22 and even MS65 are a mere $130. However, once you get to MS68, the price drastically shoots to a whopping $25,000.

Highest auction records:

13. 1925-D Buffalo Nickel – $57,500

1925-D Buffalo Nickel

1925-D nickels were highly minted with more than 4 million pieces in circulation. They are not scarce but the higher grades are few.

MS66+ is the finest, with just three coins graded by PCGS. PCGS has graded 15 of them at MS66 and 119 at MS65. Note that any 1925-D Buffalo Nickel above MS65 is worth more than $4,000.

Highest auction records:

14. 1918 Buffalo Nickel – $55,200

1918 Buffalo Nickel

1918 nickels from Philadelphia (no mintmark) and San Francisco (with ‘S’ mint mark) are valuable since they are part of the striking rarity – coins that are common in poor strikes but extremely rare in pristine strikes due to low-quality production processes.

MS67+ is the highest grade, worth $70,000. Only one of these has ever been graded.

Highest auction records:

15. 1915 (Proof) Buffalo Nickel – $52,900

1915 (Proof) Buffalo Nickel

1915 (Proof) coins were struck in Philadelphia. There was a low mintage with only 1,050 coins issued. This scarcity is the major contributor to its value with every known piece retailing for more than $725 even in the lowest grades.

You can easily find them in PR65 and PR66 but those in PR67 and above are considered rare. Only 10 coins have been graded PR68 while only one has been found at PR69.

Highest auction records:

16. 1914-S Buffalo Nickel – $46,000

1914-S Buffalo Nickel

Circulation grade 1914-S nickels are priced between $35 and $150. That is a great deal for a coin that was highly minted with over 3.4 million coins in circulation. It is easier to find these San Francisco business coins compared to other 1914-D nickels, making them an easier pick for a quick payday.

Uncirculated versions are harder to find, especially in MS67 (worth $40,000 – $80,000). This is what makes them highly valuable starting from MS65 which is priced at $2,600.

Highest auction records:

17. 1915-S Buffalo Nickel – $43,125

1915-S Buffalo Nickel

1915-S is a Strike Rarity. It is valuable because it is also harder to find in MS65 or higher. In this case, NS67 is the highest known, worth $50,000.

Take note to not confuse the Gem condition varieties with 1915 Proof coins which are more expensive and rarer. 1915 Proof coins from Philadelphia are worth $90,000 in PR69, which is practically a perfect coin in every way.

Highest auction records:

18. 1925-S Buffalo Nickel – $40,250

1925-S Buffalo Nickel

The finest grade of the 1925-S nickel is MS66, valued at $150,000. It is a Strike Rarity with very hard-to-find coins in Gem conditions above MS65.

Circulation pieces are also valuable, worth $135 or more in the most common business strike grades.

Highest auction records:

19. 1936 Brilliant (Proof) Buffalo Nickel, Type 2 – $40,250

1936 Brilliant (Proof) Buffalo Nickel, Type 2

Only 4,420 Proof Coins were made in Philadelphia in 1936.  There were two varieties: one with a Satin Finish and another called the 1936 Brilliant Nickel.

The 1936 Brilliant Nickel is the scarcer one with PR68 grades selling for $30,000 – $50,000.

Highest auction records:

20. 1913-D Buffalo Nickel, Type 2 – $25,300

1913-D Buffalo Nickel, Type 2

1913-D Type 2 nickels have a restyled reverse design where the FIVE CENTS inscription is placed under a line, on top of which the Buffalo is standing. This differs from the Type 1 nickels from 1913 where the Buffalo stood on a raised ground.

A lot of collectors seek out these varieties to complete their Buffalo Nickel collection or Type collection.

This 1913-D coin is valuable because most were put into circulation leaving very few in Mint State. Numismatists didn’t start collecting them earlier on, and therefore the few left fetch a high premium, with MS68 being the finest grade, worth more than $37,500 in the current market.

Highest auction records:

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Conclusion

The most valuable Buffalo nickels are high-grade coins that are hard to find in the open market. Since many Buffalo nickels were made in poor-quality facilities, the few Gem coins that exist tend to fetch the highest premium.

Therefore, apart from the extremely unique 1918/7-D and 1916 DDO varieties, focus your attention on rare high-grade pieces for the largest profits.

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