1929 Buffalo Nickel Value (“P”, “D”, “S” & Error Coins)

Jenson Cambell

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The Buffalo Nickel, also known as Indian Head Nickel, is one of the favorites of collectors and hobbyists because of its historical importance and design. Aside from this, the circulated condition is beginner-friendly for those starting their collection since it is affordable.

Here, we will explore all the values and auction history of each 1929 Buffalo Nickel variety. We also included a list of error coins and their features to help you know which one to look for. But before we get started, below is a value chart to give you a glimpse of their worth today, from good to superb gem conditions.

1929 Buffalo Nickel Value Chart
Coin Grade 1929-P Nickel 1929-D Nickel 1929-S Nickel
Good (G4) $2 $2.50 $2
Fine (F12) $5 $5 $5
Extremely Fine (XF40) $17.50 $35 $22.50
About Uncirculated (AU50) $22.50-$25 $50-$55 $32.50-$35
Uncirculated (MS60) $50-$55 $85-$90 $70-$75
Gem Uncirculated (MS65) $280-$400 $1,000-$1,375 $425-$490
Superb Gem Uncirculated (MS67) $8,000 $12,000-$17,500 $10,000-$15,000

History of The 1929 Buffalo Nickel

History of The 1929 Buffalo Nickel

The Buffalo Nickel is a copper-nickel coin struck from 1913 to 1938. During these years, two design types sprung due to the minimal design changes on the reverse side. The sole year under Type I is 1913.

Meanwhile, under Type II is the 1929 Nickel. It is the 16th year in the series where the Buffalo is seen standing on a plane instead of a raised ground. The reason behind the changes is that the high relief point of the mound caused the FIVE CENT inscription to get easily worn.

The business strike 1929 Nickel was accomplished at Philadelphia, Denver, and San Fransisco Mint. However, many coins are weakly struck, with the high points of the Indian head often indistinct. But there are a few in Gem condition that are worth thousands of dollars today.

1929 Buffalo Nickel Coin Information

  • Category: Buffalo Five Cents (Type II, 1913-1938)
  • Face Value: Five Cents
  • Obverse-Reverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
  • Metal Composition: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel
  • Weight: 5.00 grams
  • Diameter: 21.20 millimeters
  • Edge: Plain

1929 Buffalo Nickel Features

1929 Buffalo Nickel obverse feature

The distinct American style of J.E. Fraser on the obverse side depicts a portrait of a male Native American. You’ll also find the legend LIBERTY on the right field and the Mint year, with the F initial, on the left bottom part.

1929 Buffalo Nickel reverse feature.jpg

On the reverse side is an American Bison with the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and FIVE CENTS surrounding it. The D and S mintmark also appear on the tail side if struck from Denver and San Francisco.

1929 No Mintmark Buffalo Nickel Value

1929 P Buffalo Nickel value
1929 5C (Regular Strike) Buffalo Nickel

Among the three Mints, Philadelphia produced the most 1929 Buffalo Nickel. In total, they struck 36,446,000 pieces without mintmark. However, the quality did not draw level with the massive quantity of coins. Most 1920s coins have worn-out master hubs and incomplete hubbed dies due to Mint budget constraints. It is also why Gem condition for this variety is hard to obtain.

Based on the PCGS survival estimate, the circulated condition 1929 Buffalo Nickel is not as common as the 1930s coins. Meanwhile, those in Mint State (MS) are very scarce.

As of writing, a 1929 Buffalo Nickel in circulated condition is valued at $1 to $47.50, while an uncirculated condition can sell for $50 to $8,000.

To get a more comprehensive valuation of those in Mint State condition, check the table below:

1929 5C MS (No Mintmark) Value List
Coin Grade Estimated Value
MS-60 $50-$55
MS-61 $60-$65
MS-62 $75-$80
MS-63 $90-$100
MS-64 $130-$170
MS-65 $280-$400
MS-66 $675-$1,300
MS-67 $8,000

Like any market trend, there are rare coins that are bound to exceed the estimated value range. An example is this 1929 Buffalo Nickel MS-67 sold for an astounding $63,250 by Heritage Auctions. The coin belonged to the finest collections because of its lustrous surface, precise detail, and exceptional toning.

1929 No Mintmark Buffalo Nickel Historical Prices

The 1929 Nickel MS-67 frequently appears in auctions, and it sells for thousands of dollars with multiple bids rushing in the frontline. But unlike its rising sales, the historical prices were inconstant.

In 2014, it reached its highest estimated value of $27,500 until the end of 2016. However, it plummeted to $13,000 until the second quarter of 2021. Indeed, it was a shockingly immense drop until the end of 2021. But it was not the last as it hit another slide, reaching $8,000 in 2022 and remaining unchanged until today.

1929-D Buffalo Nickel Value

1929-D Buffalo Nickel Value
1929-D 5C (Regular Strike) Buffalo Nickel

The Denver Mint produced less 1929-D Buffalo Nickel, with only 8,370,000 pieces. Most of them are softly struck and have multiple marks.

While many thought of it as a contact mark from other coins, it is actually from the unstruck planchet itself. The flaws also became more precise because of the incomplete compression from the dies. But if the coin got fully struck, the elements could have covered some of it.

Since production quality is an issue for this variety, the lower circulated grade is more common, while VF-20 through EF-45 are semi-common. Mint state and Gem conditions are rare, with a few hundred examples—another reason why it’s more valuable than the other.

Today, a circulated condition is worth around $1 to $80, while an uncirculated condition can fetch between $85 to $17,500.

1929-D 5C MS Value List
Coin Grade Estimated Value
MS-60 $85-$90
MS-61 $100-$110
MS-62 $130-$145
MS-63 $175-$225
MS-64 $295-$510
MS-65 $1,000-$1,375
MS-66 $2,000-$4,500
MS-67 $12,000-$17,500

An MS-66 shows more frequently in auctions than an MS-67 because of a higher population. But aside from this, it is also an MS-66+ that holds the highest auction record with a sale price of $15,275 during a 2014 auction. The nickel has a sharp strike and is the top-end certified survivor for this moderate-mintage issue. It is also devoid of marks, thus earning its Plus Grade designation.

1929-D Buffalo Nickel Historical Prices

It was also in 2014 when the 1929-D Buffalo Nickel reached its all-time high estimated value of $30,000. But as 2015 entered, it dropped from $25,000 before settling at $19,000 in 2017 until 2019. But it wasn’t the last for this variety, as another plunge in the market occurred in 2023, decreasing the starting value to $12,000.

1929-S Buffalo Nickel Value

1929-S Nickel Value
1929-S 5C (Regular Strike) Buffalo Nickel

The San Francisco Mint has the lowest mintage, with only 7,754,000 pieces of 1929-S Nickel. But despite the low number, it is fairly common in circulated grades with a thousand examples. Mint State and Gem conditions, however, are scarce.

With the coin characteristics, most 1929-S Nickels have weak to average strikes. Others have a less remarkable appearance because of the “mushy look” and a grey luster. So, there is no question why its estimated value falls quite behind the 1929-D Nickel.

As of writing, a 1929-S Buffalo Nickel in the circulated condition is valued around $1 to $65, while an uncirculated condition can go over $70 to $15,000.

1929-S 5C MS Value List
Coin Grade Estimated Value
MS-60 $70-$75
MS-61 $80-$85
MS-62 $100-$110
MS-63 $125-$150
MS-64 $195-$250
MS-65 $425-$490
MS-66 $800-$2,000
MS-67 $10,000-$15,000

Gem conditions are elusive. But when you stumble upon one in an open auction, you can expect it to sell higher. An example is the 1929-S MS-67+ Nickel sold for a whopping $36,000 by Heritage Auction. The plus-graded coin has sharp details and gold-lilac toning on its surface. In all, the visual appeal is outstanding.

1929-S Buffalo Nickel Historical Prices

Unlike the other varieties with continuous price drop, the 1929-S Buffalo have fluctuating history prices. From 2014 until the first quarter of 2018, the estimated value is around $11,000. But as the year continues, it rose to $13,000 until the second quarter of 2021.

The changes were not that bad for the past years. However, it slumped to $10,000 in the last quarter of 2021 and remained the same until today.

List of 1929 Buffalo Nickel Error Coins

Repunched mintmarks and double die are the two most common types of error coin in the Buffalo Nickel series. But there are also other Mint error samples available on the online market.

The majority are tagged with affordable prices because most are in circulation grade. So, let’s look at some of it and see their current valuation.

1929-D Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) Buffalo Nickel

1929-D Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) Buffalo Nickel value

Mistakes are inevitable when manufacturing millions and billions of coins. It can lead to many errors, including one of the most familiar Doubled Die. The DDO features a duplication of images, letters, or dates that can help elevate the coin value. Here, you’ll notice the word LIBERTY and the number 2 in 1929 have doubled in an offset direction.

A 1929 Buffalo Nickel with this kind of error can sell for $10 to $40, but it can go above or below, depending on the mintmark and grade.

1929-S/S Repunched Mintmark (RPM) Buffalo Nickel

1929-S-S Repunched Mintmark (RPM) Buffalo Nickel value

In the early years, die makers used a punch to engrave a mintmark on a coin. They do it more than once with a mallet to give it a more satisfactory impression. However, if the mintmark punch moves between taps, it can result in an RPM.

The symbol S/S represents an “S punched over an S.” Sometimes, they would add a cardinal direction to give the precise location of the secondary punch, like S/S South.

This specific coin sells for almost $30.

1929-P Reverse Die Crack Buffalo Nickel

1929-P Reverse Die Crack Buffalo Nickel value

Here is circulated condition 1929 no mintmark buffalo nickel with die crack on the reverse side. You’ll notice it below the head of the bison, crossing from the edge towards its forefoot. This error occurs when the die begins to crack and forms a fissure along the design. Once it strikes the planchet, it’ll reveal a raised metal on the new coin.

This specific coin only sells for almost $5. But it can sell more if the error is more prominent and is in good condition.

1929-S Lamination Error Buffalo Nickel

1929-S Lamination Error Buffalo Nickel value

Lamination error happens when a foreign substance gets into the metal mixture of the blanks. And one of its manifestations is the lamination cracks on the coin’s surface. In the photo, you’ll see a metal flake on the reverse side of the coin. The cracks run through the letter A of AMERICA through the hip of the bison.

This specific coin sells for almost $30, while a higher grade can sell for $50 to $65.

1929-S Planchet Peel On Obverse

1929-S Planchet Peel On Obverse value

This Buffalo nickel is similar to the previous error coin because it is also a type of lamination error. However, they differ in the extent of damage to the metal. In the photo, you’ll notice on the obverse side that part of the cheeks has a deep recess instead of a minor crack. It is due to too many internal stresses in the coin that caused the metal to peel off.

This specific coin sells for $6.53.

1929-S Die Clash and Lamination Error Buffalo Nickel

1929-S Die Clash and Lamination Error Buffalo Nickel value

Die clash happens when the obverse and reverse dies collide without a planchet between. Once this happens, it leaves a clash mark on the die, affecting the new coins. In the photo, you’ll notice a sunken element on the top right of the nickel. Aside from that, this coin also has a lamination error on the reverse side, specifically on the bison’s body.

This specific coin sells for $15.

Is there 1929 Proof Buffalo Nickel?

No, there are no proof varieties for the 1929-dated Buffalo Nickel. There are only six years from the series that have it. It includes the year 1913 (Type II) to 1916 and 1936 to 1937.

Does a Buffalo Nickel contain real silver?

The Buffalo Nickel does not contain any silver. It is 75% Copper with 25% Nickel, like any other series. However, the 1942 to 1945 nickels were 35% silver since the former metal was widely used during World War II.

1929 Buffalo Nickel Value chart

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