The Buffalo Nickel is the most uniquely “American” coin; it celebrates the culture and heritage of the American West and was minted from 1913-1938. The coin was designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser, who was known for his dramatic images of the American west. The designs are some of the most beautiful and artistic ever to appear on a U.S. coin.
The front of the Buffalo Nickel depicts a composite portrait of three Native American chiefs: Iron Tail (a Sioux who fought against Custer at Little Bighorn and who was a star in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show), Two Moons (a Cheyenne who also fought at Little Bighorn), and John Big Tree (a Seneca). The back features a stunning image of a buffalo.
The three different coins are identified by the mint marks. The Denver Mint’s “D” mint mark and San Francisco’s “S” mint mark are under the denomination on the reverse. (There is no mint mark on the Philadelphia Mint coin.)
The last Buffalo Nickel was minted over 75 years ago in 1938. These coins disappeared from circulation generations ago. Most Buffalo Nickels were worn or damaged in circulation or were destroyed by the U.S. government when the Jefferson Nickel was introduced in 1938, leaving few for today’s collectors.
Coin set is protectively displayed in a custom coin wallet with a Certificate of Authenticity. 6” x 5 ½”