How Much is a 1936 Buffalo Nickel Worth? Quick Value Guide

How Much is a 1936 Buffalo Nickel Worth? Quick Value Guide

Are you curious about how much is a 1936 buffalo nickel worth? If so, you’ve come to the right place! The 1936 buffalo nickel is a highly sought-after coin by collectors and enthusiasts alike, and its value can vary depending on the condition and rarity.

In this article, we will discuss the factors that impact the worth of this iconic piece of American history so you can have a better understanding of why it’s so special.

The 1936 buffalo nickel can range in value from as little as $1.75 for coins in average condition up to $57 or even more for uncirculated (mint state) examples.

In some rare cases, proof coins have been found to be worth an impressive $1,210 or more! With the popularity of these coins still strong, their value has solidified over time.

So, why are these nickels so popular? It could be due to their unique design featuring a Native American chief on one side and the American bison, also known as buffalo, on the other side.

With more than 150 million buffalo nickels minted in 1936, this particular year is quite common, making it possible for collectors to find these coins at a reasonable price.

However, the real challenge lies in finding a 1936 buffalo nickel in mint or near-mint condition, as these can significantly increase the coin’s value. So, keep your eyes peeled, and happy hunting!

Identifying Rare Buffalo Nickels

Identifying Rare Buffalo Nickels

Ever wondered how to identify a rare 1936 buffalo nickel, or perhaps a 1913 or 1938 one? You’ve come to the right place! In this section, we’ll explore key years, mint marks, and varieties, as well as the role of condition and grading in determining the value of these iconic American coins.

Key Years

While Buffalo nickels were minted from 1913 to 1938, some years stand out as more valuable and collectible than others. For example, the 1913 Buffalo nickel, the first year of production, is quite rare and sought after by collectors.

As for the 1936 Buffalo nickel, it is the most common in the series. However, certain mint marks and error varieties can significantly increase its value.

Mint Marks and Varieties

Mint marks play a crucial role in determining the value of Buffalo nickels. These small letters, found on the reverse side of the coin, indicate the US mint facility where the coin was produced. Buffalo nickels were minted at three locations: Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (D), and San Francisco (S).

Some 1936 Buffalo nickels have valuable mint mark varieties, including the 1936-D and 1936-S. Additionally, the 1936-D 3-1/2 legs variety is highly sought after by collectors, as it features a unique die error that makes it appear that the bison has only three and a half legs.

Role of Condition and Grading

Buffalo nickels can vary widely in value depending on their condition4. Coins in uncirculated or mint state (MS) grades, such as MS65, can be worth significantly more than those in average condition grade (Good to Fine). For example, a 1936 P Buffalo nickel in MS65 could be worth around $80, while the same coin in average condition might fetch just $1.

Collectors use established coin grading systems to assess a coin’s condition. A grading scale, ranging from Poor (P-1) to Perfect (MS-70), accounts for factors like wear, scratches, and eye appeal6. If you’re serious about collecting Buffalo nickels, consider having your coins graded by professional coin grading companies like NGC or PCGS to better understand their value.

Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, it’s time to dig through your coin collection and see if you’ve got a rare Buffalo nickel waiting to be discovered. Who knows, you might have a valuable piece of American history in your hands!

Factors Affecting Buffalo Nickel Value

So, you’re curious about the value of a 1936 buffalo nickel? You’re in the right place! In this section, we’ll explore the key factors that impact the value of these coins, focusing on Condition and Grading, and Rarity. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to coin collecting!

Condition and Grading

For coin enthusiasts like yourself, the condition of a coin can greatly affect its value. The better the condition, the more valuable your buffalo nickel will likely be. One way to determine a coin’s condition is through the process of coin grading. Grading involves assessing the wear and tear on a coin, as well as any marks, scratches or imperfections. The higher the grade, the better the condition!

But what about 1936 buffalo nickels specifically? Buffalo nickels of this year can range in condition from extremely fine to rather damaged. In other words, some coins will have vivid imagery and minimal flaws, while others will show significant signs of wear and tear.

Grading 1936 buffalo nickels can be quite a challenge, but worry not – there are professional coin grading services available to help you out. Remember, the condition of your coin plays a crucial role in determining its value, so take your time to assess it accurately!


Now let’s talk about rarity, as supply and demand laws naturally come into play when determining the value of your 1936 buffalo nickel. Generally speaking, the rarer the nickel, the higher its value.

While the 1936 buffalo nickel is not considered the rarest buffalo nickel, it has an impressive 158,741,000 mintage, which makes it quite a desirable find for collectors.

However, what really piques the interest of collectors are the rarer errors and mint marks associated with these nickels, such as the “D” (Denver) and “S” (San Francisco) mint marks.

Want to check if your 1936 buffalo nickel has any of these coveted rarities? Make sure to examine it closely, paying attention to the area around the bison’s hind leg for any mint marks.

By understanding the factors impacting buffalo nickel value, you can better assess the worth of your 1936 buffalo nickel. So go on, use your newfound knowledge to conquer the world of coin collecting – or at least impress your fellow enthusiasts!

Why Collect Buffalo Nickels

Why Collect Buffalo Nickels

Buffalo nickels are a fantastic addition to any coin collection for their historical significance and aesthetic appeal. As a collector, you’ll find these fascinating United States coins to be both an intriguing and valuable part of your collection.

Historical Significance

The Buffalo nickel, minted from 1913 to 1938, features a striking depiction of a Native American on the obverse and an American bison, or buffalo, on the reverse. Designed by James Earle Fraser, this coin celebrates the unique history and culture of the United States.

When you hold a Buffalo nickel in your hand, you are connecting with a significant period in American history and appreciating its influence on present-day life.

Did you know that the Buffalo nickel was the first United States coin to feature a Native American and an animal indigenous to the country? Now that’s a conversation starter at your next dinner party!

Aesthetic Appeal

One of the key reasons for collecting Buffalo nickels lies in their undeniable aesthetic appeal. The intricate and masterful design on both sides of the coin showcases the talent of Fraser and the artistic nature of American coinage at the time. Who wouldn’t want to own a small piece of art that fits in the palm of your hand?

Furthermore, the variety of conditions and mint marks available give you the chance to hunt for that perfect Buffalo nickel to complete your collection. Perhaps you’ll come across a rare 1936 Buffalo nickel in pristine condition that’ll make your collector friends green with envy!

So, why not dive into the world of Buffalo nickels and embark on a thrilling journey of discovery? As you explore the rich history and stunning designs of these coins, your collection will shine with pride and make you the envy of fellow collectors. Happy hunting!

Tips for Collecting Buffalo Nickels

Tips for Collecting Buffalo Nickels

Collecting Buffalo Nickels can be a rewarding and enjoyable hobby, especially if you’re a fan of iconic American coinage. In this section, we’ll explore practical tips for enhancing your Buffalo Nickel collection, covering key dates, mint marks, and more.

Know Your Key Dates and Mint Marks

To build a valuable Buffalo Nickel collection, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the key dates and mint marks. For instance, the 1936 Buffalo Nickel is often sought after due to its popularity and solid value.

You should also keep a lookout for other key dates such as 1913-1938, as these coins generally have higher demand and intrinsic value.

Valuing Your Buffalo Nickel

So, you’ve gathered some Buffalo Nickels and now you’re curious about their worth. Coin grading plays an important role in valuing your collection, as the condition of the coin is a significant determinant of value.

To have an idea of how much your 1936 Buffalo Nickel is worth, you can refer to websites like CoinTrackers, where you can find estimated values based on specific coin conditions. In average condition, this particular nickel is worth around $1.75, while a mint state coin could be valued at up to $67.00!

Remember, these values are just guideline estimates, so seeking opinions from multiple sources and coin experts is always a good idea. The more you research, the easier it’ll be to identify a true gem.

Caring for Your Collection

Proper care is essential for preserving the value and appearance of your Buffalo Nickels. Here are a few tips to help maintain your collection in tip-top condition:

  • Store your coins in a cool, dry, and dark environment, away from excessive heat or moisture.
  • Use a soft cloth to gently clean the surface of your coins, avoiding harsh chemicals or abrasive materials.
  • Consider investing in a coin album or flips to help organise and protect your Buffalo Nickels.

Taking care of your collection not only enhances its value but also allows you to enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of these historic coins for years to come.

Valuing Your Buffalo Nickel

Building a collection of Buffalo Nickels can be a fantastic hobby, rewarding your time and effort with valuable and fascinating pieces of American history. So, what are you waiting for? Give your collection the due diligence it deserves!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Value of rare 1936 nickel?

So you’ve got a 1936 buffalo nickel, and you’re curious about its worth? Good news: the 1936 buffalo nickel is indeed one of the more valuable nickels.
For unminted versions, the value is around $27. If you have a nickel with a “D” mint mark, it’s worth about $35, while an “S” mint mark raises the value to $37. Keep in mind, these values are for uncirculated coins professionally graded.

Will there be No mint mark effects?

Now, what if your 1936 buffalo nickel doesn’t have any mint mark? Don’t fret, your nickel is still worth a pretty penny. Unminted versions of the 1936 buffalo nickel are valued at approximately $27. For circulated coins, the value may vary.

Is it true that Errors increase the worth?

As with any collectible coin, errors and oddities can pique the interest of numismatists and increase a coin’s value. Buffalo nickels with errors, such as double dies, might fetch a higher price in the market. Just be sure to have your coin properly examined and graded by a professional to confirm any errors.

Finding the mint mark. Is it difficult?

Wondering where to find the mint mark on your buffalo nickel? Look no further! The mint mark is located on the reverse side of the coin, just below the word “FIVE CENTS” and above the buffalo’s mound. You’ll either find a “D” (Denver), “S” (San Francisco), or no mint mark, which indicates it was minted in Philadelphia.

Is Upside down buffalo rare?

Now for a bit of whimsy: is an upside-down buffalo rare? Unfortunately, no. If you find a buffalo upside down, it’s likely due to the coin being flipped or rotated. Rotation errors can happen during the production process, but they’re not considered particularly valuable or unique in the world of numismatics.

Do Numismatic sales of 1936 nickels happen?

Occasionally, high-grade 1936 buffalo nickels pop up in numismatic sales, fetching handsome sums. For example, MS66 and MS67 versions of the coin have been known to sell for hundreds of dollars. If you’re keen to get your hands on a 1936 buffalo nickel, keep an eye out for auctions and numismatic sales.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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