24 Nickels That Could Be Worth a Small Fortune Today

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Some coins have grown in value because of how rare they are. Nickels are one such coin, however, not all nickels are the same. Some may bring the owners a fortune, while others can only fetch a few thousand dollars. Either way, it’s not common to come across a nickel worth your entire yearly paycheck or more.

1913 Liberty Head Nickel (Proof 64): $3,737,500

1913 Liberty Head Nickel (Proof 64)
Image Credit: Sreejithk2000, Public Domain/Wiki Commons.

This nickel is one of five 1913 Liberty Head nickels. Heritage Auctions sold it in 2010 for $3,737,500. Some of the five specimens of this nickel were lost or counterfeited over the years, only to be found or cleared of counterfeiting charges again.

1913 Liberty Head Nickel (Proof 63): $3,172,500

1913 Liberty Head Nickel (Proof 63)
Image Credit: Heritage Auctions, Public Domain/Wiki Commons.

This coin is another one of the five Liberty Head nickels. In 2013, Heritage Auctions sold it for $3,172,500. The nickel belonged to George Walton, but his family believed the coin was fake until it was authenticated in 2003.

1870-S Half Dime: $3,120,000

1870-S Half Dime
Image Credit: Collectors Universe, Inc.

Heritage Auctions put the 1870-S half dime up for auction in 2023, and it sold for over $3 million. According to official Mint records, there shouldn’t be any half dime from 1870. However, this specimen was discovered in a “junk box” in 1978.

1792 Half Dime (MS68): $1,145,625

1792 Half Dime (MS68)
Image Credit: Collectors Universe, Inc.

This half dime, which fetched over $1 million in 2013, belonged to David Rittenhouse, the first director of the U.S. Mint. It remained within the family until 1919 when it became the property of a string of private collectors.

1792 Half Dime (MS67): $1,410,000

1792 Half Dime
Image Credit: Professional Coin Grading Service – Public Domain/Wiki Commons.

This Mint State 67 half dime belonged to one of the highest quality U.S. coin collections ever. It’s an awesome example of the first coin officially struck by the American Mint.

1964 Jefferson Nickel Mirror Brockage: $1,150,000

1964 Jefferson Nickel Mirror Brockage
Image Credit: eBay.

This nickel was the most expensive of its kind to appear on eBay. It fetched such a high price because it has a mirror brockage: it has a head on both sides, and one mirrors the other.

1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Obverse: $350,750

1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Obverse
Image Credit: Collectors Universe, Inc.

This coin is one of the most sought-after numismatic rarities and the rarest of the Buffalo nickel coins. The reason is that the coin is struck with a 1917 and a 1918 die, clearly visible on the nickel.

1926-S Buffalo Nickel: $322,000

1926-S Buffalo Nickel
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Unlike the previous nickel, this one has a high value not because of the strike but because it is exceedingly rare. Only 970,000 of these Buffalo nickels came out of the San Francisco Mint in 1926.

1916 Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Obverse: $281,750

1916 Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Obverse
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The high price of this nickel is related to the fact that it suffered a mint error that doubled the letter on the front of the coin. It is the most popular doubled-die variety for the entire Buffalo nickel series.

1880 Shield Nickel: $198,995

1880 Shield Nickel
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A lucky buyer bought the 1880 Shield Nickel on eBay in 2023. It has the lowest mintage of all the Shield Nickels, making it much more valuable for collectors.

1913-D Buffalo Nickel Type 2: $143,750

1913-D Buffalo Nickel Type 2
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In 1913, the Mint changed designs from the Liberty Head V design to the Buffalo design. Of all the designs available for 1913, 1913-D Type 2 was a low-mintage coin because the Mint doubted its resistance to degradation.

1917-S Buffalo Nickel: $138,000

1917-S Buffalo Nickel
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This coin, minted at the beginning of World War I, is the rarest of its mint year. Unlike later nickels minted after 1920, the 1917-S Buffalo Nickel has a good strike and an attractive luster.

1920-D Buffalo Nickel: $138,000

1920-D Buffalo Nickel
Image Credit: Collectors Universe, Inc.

Last auctioned in 2008 for $138,000, this nickel is rare in mint state and a rarity in Gem condition. The strike on this nickel varies wildly, from sharp to weak on the Buffalo’s horn.

1918-S Buffalo Nickel: $125,350

1918-S Buffalo Nickel
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There aren’t many nickels from this series that have a good strike. Most show a soft strike in the hair braid on one side of the coin and the Buffalo’s horn and tail on the other.

1927-S Buffalo Nickel: $125,350

1927-S Buffalo Nickel
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While the Mint coined Buffalo Nickels for more than twenty years, 1927-S Buffalo Nickels are rare to find in a high-quality state today. They’re also rare in mint state, and the strike varies from soft to sharp.

1919-S Buffalo Nickel: $109,250

1919-S Buffalo Nickel
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This coin commands a high price because finding one with a decent strike or luster is rare. The die used for the 1919-S Buffalo Nickel was sloppy, and many coins from this series are poorly struck.

1924-S Buffalo Nickel: $105,750

1924-S Buffalo Nickel
Image Credit: Collectors Universe, Inc.

The 1924-S Buffalo Nickel had a low mintage of only 1.4 million pieces. It is one of the rarest Buffalo nickels in circulated grades. If you have one, it’s rare if its condition is good, so it could fetch a price like $105,750.

1935 Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Reverse: $104,650

1935 Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Reverse
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The 1935 Buffalo Nickel Doubled Die Reverse is the only doubled die reverse in the entire series of Buffalo Nickels, which means that the reverse die caused a slight misalignment between the two sides of the coin. Finding one that’s not in a circulated grade is very hard.

1937-D Buffalo Nickel Three Legs: $99,875

1937-D Buffalo Nickel Three Legs
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This coin is not only rare, it’s also an anomaly in that the buffalo is missing one leg. The die used to strike this nickel was polished a little too hard, almost completely removing the front leg of the iconic animal. Watch out for counterfeit “three-legged” nickels, though!

1886 Liberty Head Nickel: $64,625

1886 Liberty Head Nickel
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Although this Liberty Head nickel wasn’t a low-mintage coin, collectors praise it, contributing to its above-average price. It has risen in price, from $12,650 in 2002 to almost $65,000 in 2018 when Legend Rare Coin Auctions last auctioned it.

1867 Shield Nickel With Rays: $41,125

1867 Shield Nickel With Rays
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Between 1866 and 1883, the Mint put shield nickels in circulation. However, in 1867, the Mint had trouble interspersing the rays and the stars, so it decided to remove the rays. That decision made this nickel a fraction of the total coins minted that year.

1964 Jefferson Nickel SMS: $32,900

1964 Jefferson Nickel Sms
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Collectors worldwide prize the special strike 1964 Jefferson nickels. It’s unclear if these coins were prototypes for the 1965 SMS coins or introductory pieces. Experts believe there are between 20 to 50 sets in existence.

1936-D Buffalo Nickel Three and a Half Legs: $20,700

1936-D Buffalo Nickel Three and a Half Legs
Image Credit: Collectors Universe, Inc.

The 1936-D Buffalo Nickel Three and a Half Legs resulted from an overpolished reverse die, which caused the animal’s front leg to lose detail. It’s less striking than the three-leg version and also commands less money.

1942-D Over Horizontal D Jefferson Nickel: $15,275

1942-D Over Horizontal D Jefferson Nickel
Image Credit: Collectors Universe, Inc.

The “cheapest” nickel here, the 1942-D Over Horizontal D Jefferson Nickel, happened because a Mint worker punched the mint mark incorrectly. You can see the misplaced mint mark on the nickel without using a magnifying glass.

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