Buffalo Nickels Mintage

As one of the most popular series for collectors, the mintage figures for the Buffalo Nickel deserve some attention. As opposed to the previous two series for the denomination, there are no issues struck with prohibitively low mintages. The factor in making many issues of the series scarce was the impact of circulation, which wore away the identifying date on many coins.

Buffalo Nickel

The design of the Buffalo Nickel features a Native American on the obverse. The placement of the date on the raised area of his shoulder caused it to wear quickly within circulation. The reverse features the American Bison, or buffalo, after which the series takes its common name. Initially, the denomination was on a raised area of the mound, but this was quickly corrected. Despite the awareness of the impacts of circulation on raised inscriptions, no attempt was made to preserve the date. The coin was designed by James Earle Fraser.

For the Buffalo Nickel series:

  • There are 64 different issues across all dates, mint marks and major varieties. This number does not include the scarce varieties such as the 1916 Double Die or the 1937 Three Legged Buffalo Nickel.
  • Total mintage across the all dates and mints is 1,212,995,919. Production took place at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints for nearly all years of issue.
  • Average mintage for a Buffalo Nickel is 18,953,061.
  • The highest mintage is for the 1936 Buffalo Nickel at 119,001,420.
  • On one occasion the mintage level dipped below the one million mark, to make the lowest mintage issue of the series, the 1927-S Buffalo Nickel at 970,000 pieces.

Buffalo Nickel Mintages

IssueMintage
1913 Variety 130,993,520
1913-D Variety 15,337,000
1913-S Variety 12,105,000
1913 Variety 229,858,700
1913-D Variety 24,156,000
1913-S Variety 21,290,000
191420,665,738
1914-D3,912,000
1914-S3,470,000
191520,987,270
1915-D7,569,000
1915-S1,505,000
191663,498,066
1916-D13,333,000
1916-S11,860,000
191751,424,019
1917-D9,910,000
1917-S4,193,000
191832,086,314
1918-D8,362,000
1918-S4,882,000
191960,868,000
1919-D8,006,000
1919-S7,521,000
192063,093,000
1920-D9,418,000
1920-S9,689,000
192110,663,000
1921-S1,557,000
192335,715,000
1923-S6,142,000
192421,620,000
1924-D5,258,000
1924-S1,437,000
192535,565,100
1925-D4,450,000
1925-S6,256,000
192644,693,000
1926-D5,638,000
1926-S970,000
192737,981,000
1927-D5,730,000
1927-S3,430,000
192823,411,000
1928-D6,436,000
1928-S6,936,000
192936,446,000
1929-D8,370,000
1929-S7,754,000
193022,849,000
1930-S5,435,000
1931-S1,200,000
193420,213,003
1934-D7,480,000
193558,264,000
1935-D12,092,000
1935-S10,300,000
1936119,001,420
1936-D24,814,000
1936-S14,930,000
193779,485,769
1937-D17,826,000
1937-S5,635,000
1938-D7,020,000

Source: Buffalo Nickel