Finding Rare Nickels

Certain rare nickels only become visible under the magnifying glass. Collectors use it to discover overdates, dual punched mintmarks and condition rarity coins.

1937-D Three Legged Buffalo Nickel

The 1955-D Jefferson is a good example, still possible to find in circulation. Not a valuable coin but... look closely at the "D" mintmark and spot an "S" hiding beneath and you have a rare nickel. In Extremely Fine condition, a 1955-D over S is worth $16. How many of these are in collections waiting discovery?

Another example, the famous Three Legged Buffalo. Always in demand, a valuable and popular coin with collectors.

Examine closely all of your 1937-D Buffalo Nickels, it might be missing a leg. It happened at the mint, while cleaning one of the dies used to strike the coins, the mint polished away the front leg of the buffalo, creating rare nickels.

A three legged buffalo in good condition, a heavily worn coin, one that passed over the years through many hands undiscovered, is valued today at over $350.

Condition Rarity Nickels

Collectors treasure coins in the best condition possible. The better the condition of your coins, the higher the value. A worn coin is less desirable and less valuable than one in excellent condition. Therefore they are always striving to place the nicest in their collections.

There is a rigorous system of "Grading" coins. With several categories, ranging from crisp, no wear "Uncirculated" to a coin almost smooth from wear in "Good" condition. With many subtle differences in the details of the condition affecting the grade.

Buffalo Nickel Grades

Many nickel coins are known for their "condition rarity". Examples worth five to ten dollars in "Good" condition are suddenly valued at a hundred dollars or more in "Extremely Fine" condition. As the condition improves it becomes a rare nickel and highly collectable.

Here are five condition rarities found in the Buffalo Nickel series.

Coin Values
Buffalo Nickel Condition Rarities

  Condition of Coin
Date Good - G Fine - F Extremely Fine
1918 D $16 $50 $160 $280
1920 D $6 $27 $173 $291
1923 S $5 $21 $188 $310
1924 S $11 $65 $675 $1,215
1926 S $10 $75 $410 $2,625
Coin Values Updated 2015

Two dates in particular, the 1924-S and 1926-S jump to over $400 in the better Extremely Fine condition.

Rare Nickels - Small Details and Large Values

Small details, many so small a magnifying glass is needed to detect, create valuable coins. Dates such as the 1885 Liberty Nickel are well known, easily recognized and worth a minimum of $375.

The following rare nickels range in value of $3 and up in Good condition, rising to $6 to thousands in Fine condition. Discover a 1916 over 16 Buffalo Nickel in Extremely Fine or better condition and you have found a coin worth over $23,000.

Coin Values
Six More Rare Nickels

  Condition of Coin
Date Good - G Fine - F Extremely Fine
1912 S $105 $150 $1,200 Rare
1916-16 $3,600 $8,500 $23,000 Rare
1918 D, 8 Over 7 $1,100 $2,500 $8,750 Rare
1949 D over S $24 $33 $75 $150
1954 S over D $3.00 $7 $14 $33
1955 D over S $3.00 $8 $16 $40
Coin Values Updated 2015

1912-S Liberty Nickel The "S" mintmark is found on the reverse at the bottom, to the right of the word CENTS.

1916 over 16 Buffalo Very rare, the value in good condition is $3,600.

1918-D, 8 over 7 Buffalo A very popular over date variety. Somewhat difficult to distinguish. Look for a "squaring" of the number 8.

1949-D, D over S mint mark Jefferson Find the "D" visible in the lower half of the "S" mintmark.

The 1954-S/D and the 1955-D/S Jefferson Nickels A couple of modern rarities, their values haven't matured. Both are similar in price.

Every one of these rare nickels cause dealers and collectors to pause and notice. Perhaps you will discover one in your box of old coins.

Look Closely for Rare Silver Nickels

Rare Silver Nickel

Steadily going up and worth over $0.78 each are nickels minted 1942 through 1945 with a large "P" "D" or "S" mintmark on the reverse above the Monticello dome.

Each contain silver and with today's silver value these silver nickels are rising quickly in price.

As always, if your coins are in nice condition it is taken into account with the possibility of increasing how much a silver nickel is worth.

More Old Nickel Values

Have a look through your old nickels. Shield and Liberty "V" nickels are gaining in status with higher values. Even Buffalo nickels without dates are worth 10 cents each, amazing. Compare your coins to the "Grading" images to judge their condition then check their value on the coin value charts.

Do you have other coin denominations?

Coin Values Discovery... finds Rare Nickels and... All old US coin values. It is an excellent index with images and text links to all coin series, from Cents to Gold. Value charts, grading images and descriptions uncover how much your box of old coins is worth.

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