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Buffalo Nickels (1913-1938)

The Indian nickel, more popularly known as the "Buffalo" nickel, replaced the Liberty Head nickel in 1913. There are 2 so-called "Types" of Buffalo nickels.


The Indian nickel, more popularly known as the "Buffalo" nickel, replaced the Liberty Head nickel in 1913. There are 2 so-called "Types" of Buffalo nickels.

The Type I has the Buffalo (or Bison) standing on a raised mound with FIVE CENTS inscribed on it. Unfortunately it was found that the relief of the mound caused it to wear quickly, thus the bottom was redesigned creating the Type II.

The Type II has the Buffalo (or Bison) standing on a line of plane with "FIVE CENTS" inscribed in recess to help prevent it from wearing so quickly.

James E. Fraser, a well known sculptor, created the design of the nickel. The obverse (front) was a composite image of 3 Native American models and the reverse (back) was styled from a bison at the Bronx Zoo.

There are a few very popular varieties that collectors highly seek.

The most famous of these is the 1937 D Three Legged Buffalo Nickel.

Other popular varieties include:

The 1918 over 17 D Buffalo Nickel
The 1916 Doubled Die Obverse Nickel
The 1938 D/S Buffalo Nickel
And the 1914/1913 (overdate) Buffalo Nickel

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Tags Buffalo Nickels, nickels, nickel, coins, indian head, indian head nickel, buffalo, bison coin