The Buffalo Nickel is one of the more modern Nickels produced by the US Mint, but is still a prized piece for collectors everywhere. Because they were minted many decades ago, not many of these coins are still around—this is especially true for newer editions such as the 1916 Buffalo Nickel.
For collectors, collecting the Buffalo Nickel is quite the task seeing as many of the annual releases have three different varieties of coin. Not only must an investor establish what type(s) they would like, they must also execute the process of finding one of those coins in excellent condition. After all, condition is everything for collectors.
When a collector is presented with a coin as old as the 1916 Buffalo Nickel, the first thing they look at is the condition of the coin. They will pour over the surfaces of the piece looking for any, even the smallest, imperfections.
The process of judging the condition of a coin is known as grading. Under normal circumstances, a coin is graded by a professional company, but we realize that not everyone has the time and money to send their coins away for grading. Because of that, we included the specifications below to help you gain a better understanding of what qualities coins of certain grades possess.
Uncirculated: A coin in this condition was never exchanged on the open market. These coins will show absolutely no signs of wear and will have retained all of their original texture and imagery. Even the coin’s luster, or original mint shine, will be fully intact as to give the coin a nice shine. As you might expect, very few 1916 Buffalo Nickels are awarded this grade.
Extremely Fine: Extremely Fine coins are ones that have been circulated, but not to the extent that a lot of damage was caused to the coin. Only light scratching and other small blemishes will be able to be seen, and they will only really be able to be made out under close scrutiny. Some of the mint’s luster will be on these coins, but they will not shine like Uncirculated versions.
Fine: If a coin receives this grade that means it was circulated for a good amount of time. These coins will show some ample signs of wear, most often near the Indian’s cheekbone or near the buffalo’s front leg. Despite some smoothing, the overall texture of the coin’s faces will have been retained over the years. All in all, these coins are in decent shape.
Good: This is the grade given to coins that were circulated for multiple decades. To be honest, these coins will be beat up and showing a lot of wear and tear. Heavy scratching, bending, and chipping are all common on coins of this grade. Even the surfaces of the coin will have been smoothed thanks to years of wear from the exchanging of hands.
When it comes to the Buffalo Nickel, a few different factors influence its price. For one, the type of the coin will be important. Inherently, certain varieties of this year’s coin are more popular than others regardless of condition. After establishing the type of coin, you must then look at the condition or grade. For coins that are in great condition, collectors will pay a pretty penny to acquire them. Refer to the chart below to gain a better understanding of how much you will pay for a Buffalo Nickel given its type and grade.
1916 Buffalo Nickel
|1916 S||$12||$20||$90||$125||Source: Red Book|