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Greysheet & CPG® PRICE GUIDE

U.S. Coin Values: Buffalo Nickels (Proof).

About 1913 Buffalo 5c Type 1

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.

Obverse: James Earle Fraser's famous and simple design depicts a Native American chief with the word LIBERTY from 1-2 o'clock. The date is placed on the lower left of the chieftan's bust.

Reverse: A full portrait of the bison, Black Diamond, with the words UNITED STATES oF AMERICA at the top periphery with the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM just underneath. The denomination FIVE CENTS is spelled out at the bottom. For the Type 1, the denomination is embossed on raised ground.

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Denomination: 5c / Nickel
Designation: PR
Mint Mark: P
Mint Location: Philadelphia
Mintage: 1,520
Coinage Type: Buffalo Nickels,Ty.1 (FIVE CENTS on Raised Ground)
Coinage Years: 1913
Composition: 75% copper; 25% nickel
Variety: Buffalo
Variety 2: Type 1
Strike Type: Proof
Diameter: 21.2 mm
Weight: 5 gr
Designer: James Earle Fraser
Edge: Plain
PCGS #: 3986
NGC ID: 22T2
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