The 1936 Buffalo Nickel was one of the final versions of the coin to be minted, produced towards the end of a 25-year run that started in 1913. Part of a famous collection that includes several coins that sell for startling prices, what does the 1936 range have to offer in that regard?
Here’s everything you could need to know about the 1936 Buffalo Nickel, from the different minting types, to a brief buyer’s guide.
1936 Buffalo Nickel: Mint Types
As with most Buffalo nickels, the 1936 coins were produced in three different cities across the US. You’ll be able to identify the origin thanks to a small mint mark, although some coins bear no mark. We’ve come up with a guide to each coin, found below.
1936 Buffalo Nickel
The first 1936 Buffalo nickel we’ll be looking at was produced in Philadelphia. Phillie tended to be where the majority of coins were produced in the US, a tradition still followed today. 118,997,000 were produced in total, eclipsing the others by a significant margin.
Since 1980, all coins minted there have the “P” mintmark, but the same isn’t for most older coins. Instead, there’s no usually no mark to be found, so it’s easy to tell the difference. However, the 1936 Buffalo nickel is an exception, with a P marked on the coin. The mint mark is found on the reverse, under the buffalo.
1936-D Buffalo Nickel
With just over 24,814,000 coins produced in Denver, it’s a fraction of the above amount. However, it’s still a significant number of coins, and many have made it into the present day unscathed.
The 1936-D Buffalo nickel is abundant, but uncirculated versions are worth a fair amount. You’ll be able to identify this coin thanks to a D mint mark on the reverse, under the buffalo.
1936-S Buffalo Nickel
As the most miniature mint of the three, San Francisco saw 14,930,000 1936 Buffalo nickels produced, which is still a reasonably large number.
Similarly to the others, you can identify this coin thanks to an S mintmark found on the reverse, under the buffalo. A total of almost 15m means that it’s not particularly rare in 2020, especially compared to other Buffalo nickels produced in the 1920s.
1936 Buffalo Nickel: Values
In truth, there’s little to separate the 1936 Buffalo nickels in terms of value. An unminted version is roughly $27, a D is worth $35, and the S should go for $37. Those are the prices for uncirculated coins that have been graded professionally.
The trouble is, they were produced in such high numbers that there’s little to set the most significant coins apart, even if they’re as shiny as the day they were first minted. There are several valuable coins from the set, such as;
1913-S Type 2
1916/16 (doubled die variety)
1918-D 8 over 7 (doubled die variety)
1937-D Three-legged Buffalo
1936 Buffalo Nickel No Mint Mark
These are some of the rarest you’ll find, and you’ll see a distinct lack of options from ‘36.
As with any vintage item, we’d stick with graded options to eliminate the many fakes and counterfeits that have swamped the market in recent years. This is especially true for high-ticket items, so be wary if a price seems too good. It probably is.
1936 Buffalo Nickel: Information
The 1936 Buffalo nickel is also known as the ‘Indian Head Nickel’, for obvious reasons. It shows a Native American on the front of the coin, next to a small inscription of the word ‘liberty’. It was designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser, with a mix of 75% copper and 25% nickel.
Coming to the end of the 25-year run, the Buffalo nickel was replaced by the Jefferson nickel in 1938. The latter is still in use today.
1936 Buffalo Nickel: Buyers Guide & Investment Outlook
- Investment Rating: Strong Buy (4 out of 5)
- Ownership Disclosure: None (but looking to invest)
- Best 1936 Buffalo Nickel: 1936-S Buffalo Nickel
Buffalo nickels are some of the more popular coins that are frequently collected, with a robust design and more affordable prices than you might expect. However, of the 61 coins produced from 1913 to 1938, the ‘36 releases are some of the cheapest overall.
This is excellent news for collectors, as it means you’ll be able to pick up the complete set of 1936 Buffalo nickels for next to nothing. Even uncirculated coins are cheap, so it’s one of the better entry-level sets if you start with the hobby.