Buffalo nickels, minted from 1913 to 1938, are also known as Indian heads. The Buffalo nickel value depends on a lot of factors. It can range from a few cents to thousands of dollars. Common dates in well-circulated grades are worth around 40 cents each. Key dates in pristine uncirculated condition can go for more than a thousand dollars.
The first designer
Theodore Roosevelt was the president of the United States in the first few years of the 20th century. He expressed his distaste for the artistic designs of the coinage of America. So, the US Mint hired sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to revitalize the said designs. He died in 1907 before his designs were ever put onto coins.
A call for a new design
In 1911, Frank MacVeagh was the Treasury Secretary of the country. His son pointed out that the 5-cent piece of the US coinage was one of the country’s most iconic coins. He also claimed that it deserved a beautiful design. New designs for the nickel were then taken into consideration.
The Indian head and buffalo
A sculptor who apprenticed alongside Saint-Gaudens approached the US Mint. It was James Fraser. He submitted design after design. High-ranking employees of the US Mint found it difficult to choose among the designs. They leaned towards the design with President Lincoln on the front. After some time, they decided to go with a Native American theme. They preferred the sketch of the Indian head and the buffalo.
The Buffalo nickel started to circulate on the fourth of March, 1913. The citizens of the United States held its design in high regard. The representation of the historical roots of the United States touched the Americans.
Nowadays, a lot of people consider the Buffalo nickel as a collector’s item. Completing a set of Buffalo nickels is such a challenge. The condition of these nickels is everything.