About Buffalo Nickel, Ty.1 (1913) [Type] Buffalo Nickels (Proof)
When the Buffalo nickel debuted in 1913, public reception was generally quite positive of James Fraser’s design, incorporating a Native American chief on the obverse and an American bison on the reverse. Collectors also loved the new motif and many ordered proof specimens of the new coin from the Philadelphia Mint, which at the time was where proof coinage was made. The 1913 Type 1 proof is not only a first-year piece but also a one-year-only production, as the reverse design was significantly modified later in 1913 to recess the words FIVE CENTS under a line.
Some 1,520 Type 1 proofs were made, and they were made with a matte finish. Matte proofs are distinctive from business strikes in that they show very clean details, flawless surfaces, and squared rims. While beautiful, collectors weren’t necessarily huge fans of the matte finish and a survival estimate of 800 to 850 PR60 or better proofs suggests many of these coins were later spent as money. Still, many are available in PR65 or PR66, several dozen in PR67, and NGC and PCGS have collectively graded 10 in PR68.
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CPG® prices represent retail levels. Collectors should refer to CPG values as a starting place for their negotiations, or auction bid reference.
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CAC prices are for U.S. coins that meet the standards of the Certified Acceptance Corporation. You can learn more about CAC on their web site.
Price movement is indicated for price changes in the last 30 days.
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