Buffalo Nickels - APMEX offers a superb selection of Buffalo Nickels. The Buffalo Nickel is one of the most popular designs with coin collectors. Its design of a Native American chief on the obverse and a buffalo on the reverse have made it a national favorite. Designed by James Earle Fraser, the Buffalo (or Indian Head) nickel was minted between 1913 and 1938. It completed a successful government-mandated run of 25 years in circulation. A notable coin is the 1937-D Buffalo Nickel that has only 3 legs, which was caused by excessive die polishing. In 1913, two distinct types of this nickel were created. Type 1 was only minted for a few months and features the words “five cents” on a raised mound on the reverse. Recognizing that this mound would quickly wear down, the mound was removed to create the Type 2 Buffalo Nickel.
History of the Buffalo Nickel
As part of an effort to beautify the coins in the early part of the 20th century, there were five denominations that received new designs between 1907 and 1909. The Taft administration was overly impressed with Fraser's Buffalo design because it captured the essence of our American land, paying homage to the Native Americans and the American Bison. It was the quintessential depiction of the west. The Buffalo Nickel was one of the most impressive coin designs because of its details and the respect it pays to the country. The coin design is distinct and in the words of Fraser himself he, “wanted to do something totally American, a coin that could not be mistaken for any other country's coin.” The Buffalo Nickel remains as one of the most popular coins among collectors today because of its historical significance and intricate design. The design was a first of its kind during that time, and it replaced Charles Barber's Liberty Head Nickel.
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