Buffalo Nickel Design
Learning the history of the Buffalo Nickel may have aroused your curiosity about the coin’s appearance. Its obverse bears the right-facing profile of an American Indian. The Native American is said to be a combination of several chiefs from different tribes; this allowed the coin to celebrate the wider culture of Native America as opposed to just one tribe. The Native American is shown in exacting detail. Even the texture of his hair and accompanying feathers is depicted in great detail. Also on the obverse of the coin are inscriptions marking the year the coin was minted and an inscription of the word “Liberty.”
The reverse of the coin, of course, depicts the famous left-facing American bison, or buffalo, standing atop a natural landscape. Like the obverse’s Native American, the buffalo boasts stunning detail. Above the buffalo’s image an inscription reads “United States of America.” When this coin was introduced, its design was revolutionary and did garner some criticism. However, the Buffalo Nickel was minted for 25 years and is now an icon of American coinage.