The US Mint has produced many iconic coins over the years, but their collection of Nickels is easily a collector favorite. Though there are a few different types of Nickels, few are more well-known than the Buffalo variety. These coins are particularly appealing to collectors, but are quite tricky to collect seeing as three different types of Buffalo Nickel were minted every year.
Knowing this, the collector must first consider the type of coin he or she is buying, and then consider the coin’s condition. Because Buffalo Nickels were produced so long ago, it goes without saying that it is quite difficult to find one of these coins in excellent, well-preserved condition.
For coins as old as the 1918 Buffalo Nickel, the condition the coin is in means everything to collectors. You see, though many Nickels have survived the near century long journey to today, not many have survived in excellent condition. This is why collectors are quick to pour over these coins, looking for any and all imperfections.
The process of judging the condition of a coin is known as giving the coin a grade. Usually, the process of grading a coin involves sending it to an expert, but not everyone has the time and money to have their coin looked at and judged by an expert. Because of this, we have included specifications below to give you a better idea of what certain grades mean.
Uncirculated: An Uncirculated Buffalo Nickel is one that saw absolutely no time being exchanged on the open market. These coins will show no signs of wear and will appear as though they were minted a short time ago as opposed to a century ago. Even the coin’s original shine will have been preserved, adding to the overall beauty.
Extremely Fine: A coin given this grade is one that saw only a very limited amount of time in circulation. These coins will show very minimal signs of wear, of which is most often found near the upper front leg of the buffalo and near the Indian’s cheekbone. Still, despite some small imperfection the coin is in pretty well-preserved condition.
Fine: A coin deserving of this grade will show ample signs of wear, but not so much that it makes the coin appear overly tattered. You will see ample wearing of the raised aspects of the coin because these are always the first parts to wear away due to the exchanging of hands. These coins will also be lacking shine as it was worn away over the years.
Good: A coin given this grade has seen a lot of time exchanging hands. Complete with heavy scratching, chipping, and other signs of wear, a Good Buffalo Nickel is not the most sought after piece for collectors, but is the most commonly found type of coin. Depending on type, these coins can be acquired for relatively cheap.
When it comes to the Buffalo Nickel, the price of the coin is dependent on both the type and condition. Because some types are more valuable than others, collectors are willing to pay more for certain varieties of the coin. No matter what type of coin, the condition is always important. For those well-preserved Buffalo Nickels, collectors are willing to pay quite a bit. Refer to the chart below to gain a better idea of how much you will pay for a Buffalo Nickel from 1918 given its grade and type.
1918 Buffalo Nickel
|1918 S||$14||$55||$200||$325||Source: Red Book|