17 Nickels Worth Collecting

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Written By Natasha Jones
I'm Natasha Jones, an avid collector of coins, stamps, and paper money. My passion drives me to seek unique finds, from antique shops to international exchanges. I enjoy connecting with fellow collectors through forums and meet-ups, sharing discoveries and insights. Collecting, for me, is about preserving history and building a community around this shared interest.

Do you have any spare change? You might have stumbled upon a hidden treasure if it’s a nickel. Although it’s one of the most frequent coins in circulation, the nickel still holds some charm.

The United States Mint features a wide variety of selections that might be perfect for you if you want to add variety or excitement to your collection. Here are a few of our favorites:

Nickels Worth Collecting:

1964 Jefferson Nickel SMS


Jefferson Nickel is one of the most expensive rare nickels sought after by collectors.

While many special strikes fetch high prices, one brockage has attained a somewhat enigmatic significance.

For example, a 1964 nickel in excellent condition that sold for $32,900 in 2016 would cost roughly $39,600 in 2022.

1927-S Buffalo Nickel


The Buffalo nickel, also known as an Indian Head nickel, was only struck from 1913 to 1938, making it a collectible of limited availability today.

Nonetheless, the 1927-S had striking problems, and only a few high-quality strikes remain today.

So what is the value of these highly scarce nickels? At an auction in 2012, one fetched $48,875.

1937-D Buffalo Nickel Three Legs


Anyone with a soft spot for three-legged creatures will find this nickel irresistible.

Unfortunately, a leg fell off the famous buffalo because the reverse die used to make it was polished too vigorously.

So you should be on the lookout for fakes, but a perfect 1937-D Buffalo Nickel Three Legs sold in 2015 for $88,125.

1924-S Buffalo Nickel


Over 1,400 000 1924-S Buffalo Nickels were struck. So why should you keep an eye out for certain nickels in particular?

The mint state of this nickel is the sole factor in determining its extreme rarity.

Extremely few are in Gem condition, and even fewer are uncirculated. High-quality examples of this item went for $105,750 in 2016.

1935 Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Reverse


The fact that this nickel wouldn’t win any contests for in-line drawing makes it so unique.

A slight misalignment of the reverse die used to strike a unique run of 1935 Buffalo Nickels resulted in duplicating certain details.

In 2007, a particularly well-kept one went for $104,650.

1919-S Buffalo Nickel


Many 1919-S Buffalo Nickels struck at the San Francisco mint could have been better designed and struck due to the die used.

Nevertheless, a particularly well-struck example could be among the most valuable nickels.

A near-perfect example sold for $109,250 (or $156,700 at the time) in 2006.

1918-S Buffalo Nickel


Another example is the 1918-S Buffalo nickel, which was only made in moderate quantities but is quite rare because so many need to be better struck.

If you possess one of these rare nickels, you had better prepare your cash.

One sold for $125,350 in 2008, a year before the economic downturn.

1920-D Buffalo Nickel


For collectors, rarity is everything, and Buffalo nickels are exceedingly scarce. Of the 9.5 million minted nickels, only a tiny fraction are in perfect condition.

This is especially true of the 1920-D issue from the Denver Mint.

Despite the economic downturn, an MS-67 example sold for a staggering $138,000 in 2008.

1917-S Buffalo Nickel


At the outset of World War I, the San Francisco mint produced a small but significant number of high-quality 1917 Buffalo nickels.

The dies had worn down and weren’t replaced, or perhaps the spacing between them was off.

Today, collectors are willing to pay top dollar for mint-state examples of the 1917-S Buffalo nickel.

In 2008, one went for a price of $138,000.

1913-D Buffalo Nickel Type 2


Collectors of nickels will find 1913 to be an important year.

Two distinct Buffalo designs were used during this period, which is significant because it marks when the nickel changed from the Liberty Head V design to the Buffalo design.

The original version featured the Five Cents denomination, which was later scrapped out of concern for its depreciating value in favor of the Type 2 version.

Nowadays, only a small number of genuinely exceptional examples remain. In 2008, it fetched a price of $143,750.

1867 Shield Nickel With Rays


From 1866 to 1883, the Shield nickel was struck as a replacement for earlier fractional currency notes.

Many other years indeed have plenty of circulated and proof examples available, but not 1867.

Some people still managed to get through even though the rays had been taken out of the die this year.

It is estimated that no more than ten examples exist today; in 2004, one brought in $132,250.

1880 Shield Nickel


Collectors highly seek after the 1880 Shield Nickel because of its historical significance and low mintage relative to other rare nickels.

Unfortunately, just sixteen thousand copies were produced for general sale. One example sold for $175,000, making it one of the most expensive nickels ever listed on eBay.

In 2014, however, an additional high-quality specimen brought $170,375 at auction.

1916 Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Obverse


Only 200 rare nickels exist, with fewer than 15 in mint condition.

However, if you get your hands on one, you’ll notice the date has been doubled. One went for $281,750 in 2004.

1926-S Buffalo Nickel


To the San Francisco mint be the glory for producing yet another desirable set of nickels.

The San Francisco mint produced only 970,000 Buffalo nickels in 1926, compared to the millions produced at other mints and in other years.

One 1926-S Buffalo nickel, for instance, sold at auction in 2008 for $322,000.

1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Obverse


This is one of the rare and valuable nickels you should keep an eye out for.

A few Buffalo nickels were struck from a die dated 1917 and then again from the correct die dated 1918.

As a result, the overdate remains legible, with the number 7 showing through beneath the number 8. Some of the most expensive nickels in circulation are good examples.

There was a sale of $350,750 in 2006 for one of these.1964 Jefferson Nickel Mirror Brockage 1964-D Jefferson Nickel Mirror Brockage is a rare error coin worth $200-$400.

This coin has a mirror image of the word “Liberty” on the obverse side.

1964 Jefferson Nickel Mirror Brockage


Some 1964 Jefferson coins are affordable nickels for most people, but eBay is home to the sale of a mysterious coin that is among the most expensive of its kind.

One Jefferson nickel from 1964 was struck with a mirror brockage, so both sides featured a mirrored image of the same head.

Due to an oversight at the mint, a once-common nickel is now worth millions. On eBay, it reportedly went for $1,150,000.

1913 Liberty Head V Nickel


In 1913, the Buffalo nickel replaced the Liberty head nickel as the standard issue nickel. There’s more to the tale, though. There are only five known examples of a 1913 nickel with the older Liberty Head V design.

And the rest is history that can be collected and is as valuable as the world’s most expensive paintings or rarest stamps.

Only three of the five are not publicly owned. One went for $4,560,000 in 2018.

It’s not often that a nickel worth millions appears at auction, but when it does, you can bet that a lot of cash will change hands for something that was once only worth five cents.

Before you go…

I hope you have a better grasp of the nickel’s worth now. If you ever come across one at a swap meet or a coin show, you should check it out!

Check out my next article: “Top 10 Coins to Collect!

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