The Buffalo Nickel is an interesting coin because, for the first few years, it was minted in different locations. What this means is that for the 1914 Buffalo Nickel there are three different varieties you can get your hands on. For collectors, the Buffalo Nickel is one that is difficult to collect simply because there are so many different types, but not all of them have survived in great condition.
When it comes to collectors, it is imperative that the coins are in great condition. Right then and there, however, is quite the challenge as most surviving Buffalo Nickels quite clearly show their age.
Coins that are as old as the 1914 Buffalo Nickel are always having their condition analyzed. The reason is due to the fact that collectors will only want to purchase the coins that have been well-preserved. By closely analyzing the condition a coin is in, you are really giving the coin a grade of sorts.
Typically, grading is performed by a professional company that utilizes expert opinion, but by using the specifications below you can gain a better idea as to what qualities a coin of a specific grade will possess.
Uncirculated: An Uncirculated Buffalo Nickel will have no signs of wear because the coin itself was never circulated. With all of its texture, coins of this grade will feel as though they were just minted. Adding to the appeal, the piece will have retained all of its original luster.
Extremely Fine: An Extremely Fine Buffalo Nickel is one that was in circulation for a period of time, but not a very long one. This type of coin will show some wear and some small scratches, but for the most part will be in pretty good condition. Even some of the mint’s original luster will be preserved on pieces receiving this grade.
Fine: Fine is a grade given to coins that show ample signs of wear, but not so much that it takes away from the coin’s overall appeal. The coin will have none of its original shine left and will be home to some smoothing, especially near the buffalo’s front legs and around the Indian’s cheekbone. At the end of the day, all of the imagery and inscriptions will be able to be made out without too much trouble at all.
Good: A coin that is graded to be Good is one that saw heavy circulation. These coins will show the most wear and, in some cases, will be very beaten up. Heavy scratching, chipping, and bending are all associated with this grade. Despite its poor condition, Good 1914 Buffalo Nickels are still a prize to a good amount of collectors.
For coins as old as the Buffalo Nickel, pricing the piece becomes as important as giving it its grade. Beyond that, collectors are concerned about what type of Nickel it is. Seeing as three different types were minted in 1914, each coin will first be judged on type, then condition. To better understand the pricing scheme of this year’s Nickel, refer to the chart below.
1914 Buffalo Nickel
|1914 S||$26||$45||$90||$160||Source: Red Book|