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Nickel

The U.S. Mint produced its first nickel coins in 1866. Before that, the only five-cent piece in circulation was the silver 'half-dime.' While nickel isn't as intrinsically valuable as gold or silver, the historical significance of some old coins — such as the famous Buffalo Nickel — contribute to their collectors' appeal. Mint State Gold has a carefully sourced inventory of nickel coins for sale in our online store. Browse our current selection below and visit individual product pages for specifics.

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Buffalo Nickels

The Buffalo Five Cent piece is one of the most collectible U.S. nickel coins. James Earle Fraser was responsible for its design, which features a buffalo on the reverse and a Native American chief on the obverse. Fraser's design was notable for its realism — previous engravers modeled their "Indian Head" coins on Classical sculpture, with the addition of a headdress. For the Buffalo Nickel, Fraser created a composite of three chiefs who had posed for him in the past.

The Buffalo Nickel was in production from 1913 to 1938. Minting occurred at the Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver facilities. Two main variants exist. The Type 1 nickel was minted for only a few months in 1913 until it was discovered that the raised type of the "FIVE CENTS" inscription was prone to wear. As a result, Chief Engraver Charles Barber modified the design to make it flatter and more durable. Many collectors consider the resulting Type 2 Buffalo Nickel to lack the artistic impact of Fraser's original.

Liberty Head Nickels

The Liberty Head five-cent piece was the predecessor to the Buffalo Nickel. In 1883, Philadelphia Mint Superintendent A. Loudon Snowden proposed that the cent, three-cent, and five-cent coins should have a universal design and composition. Charles E. Barber prepared the engraving, which featured a liberty head in profile on the obverse, and a wreath around the coin's denomination on the reverse. Ultimately, the Liberty Head nickel was the only coin to make it into production, as Congress opposed altering the one-cent coin, and the Treasury stopped the overhaul of the three-cent.

The Liberty Head was in circulation for thirty years, at which point the new Secretary of the Treasury, Franklin MacVeagh, led the drive to replace Barber's design with the Buffalo Nickel.

Collecting Rare Nickel Coins

Our inventory of rare nickel coins for sale primarily includes Buffalo Nickels, though we can source Liberty Nickels and other products from our network of suppliers. Whatever it is you need, count on Mint State Gold for expertise and exceptional customer service. We offer a 14-day, money-back satisfaction guarantee for all numismatic items, as well as free shipping on all purchases.

The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) certify the majority of our Buffalo Nickels. As a result, you can shop our online store with confidence, knowing you are getting a genuine coin that is delivered as advertised.

To learn more about the benefits of collecting Buffalo Nickels or other U.S. five-cent coins, contact the Mint State Gold office by phone or email today.

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