As far as US coins are concerned, few are more popular than the Buffalo Nickel for collectors. These coins are extravagant in their design and are a must-have for so many collectors. Making the collecting of these coins difficult, however, is the fact that three different varieties were minted every year the coin was produced, each having their own inherent value and scarcity.
On top of there being three different types of Buffalo Nickels minted annually, they are now in a wide array of conditions. Some coins are well-preserved while others are extremely worn, and it becomes the collector’s job to find those coins that are in excellent shape.
For collectors, the most important aspect of a coin is the condition it is in. Especially for coins that are as old as the 1920 Buffalo Nickel, condition is absolutely everything in the eyes of the collector. This is why, when presented with the opportunity to get their hands on a 1920 Buffalo Nickel, collectors will first and foremost carefully analyze the condition the coin is in.
Under normal circumstances, judging the condition of a coin is something reserved for coin grading companies. Because we do not all have the luxury of sending our coins away for grading, you can refer to the specifications below to gain a good idea as to what qualities coins of a specific grade possess.
Uncirculated: Coins of this grade are great because, after they were minted, they were immediately kept in a safe place and preserved. Because of this, they will show no signs of wear and their faces will be complete with all of the imagery and inscriptions intact. This gives the coin a texture not often found on pieces this aged.
Extremely Fine: A coin given the grade of Extremely Fine will show some signs of wear because it was circulated for a small period of time. Apart from some extremely light scratching, however, these coins will appear to be mostly pristine. Even some of the mint’s original luster will be able to be seen on the both sides of the coin.
Fine: This is a grade given to coins that saw a good amount of time in circulation and were on the receiving end of a lot of wear as a result. The heaviest wear is almost always located around the cheekbone of the Indian and the front leg of the buffalo. The faces of coins given this grade will be worn down to the point that they are smooth.
Good: If you have a Buffalo Nickel that is in this condition, you have yourself a piece that saw a lot of time in circulation. Because of this extended period of time exchanging hands, these coins will show a lot of wear, including scratching, chipping, and just about anything else.
Giving the 1920 Buffalo Nickel an accurate valuation is no more difficult than figuring out the type of coin and condition it is in. Because each type carries its own scarcity and level of demand, this is the first factor affecting the price of your coin. Secondly, it is condition that most readily affects what you will pay for one of these pieces. By referring to chart below, you will garner a better idea as to what you can expect to pay for a Buffalo Nickel, given its type and grade.
1920 Buffalo Nickel
|1920 S||$4.50||$28||$200||$300||Source: Red Book|