1937 Buffalo Nickel
1937 was the last full year of production for Buffalo nickels. With die issues apparent since the start of the series in 1913, the United States Treasury was simply waiting for the 25-year minimum timeframe during which a coin design could not be changed, and the countdown clock was definitely winding down on that mark. The Buffalo nickel population received a certain shot in the arm in 1937, as more than 100 million Buffalo nickels were made that year – a high number indeed, but not nearly as astronomical as the 150 million-plus of 1936.
Philadelphia struck 79,480,000 Buffalo nickels in 1937, while Denver provided 17,826,000 and San Francisco produced 5,635,000. By all accounts, all the regular-issue Buffalo nickels are widely common and can be bought for around $1 in Good-4. Even Mint State examples are relatively inexpensive, at about $40 for an example of any of the three dates.
There are, however, two varieties that should be on any Buffalo nickel enthusiast’s wish list. The first, and perhaps most famous of Buffalo nickel varieties, is the 1937 3-legged Buffalo nickel. This coin arose from the inadvertent effects of die polishing, and is worth from $600 to $1,000 in the lower circulated grades. Another variety to pursue is the 1937 proof Buffalo nickel, of which 5,769 were made; you can buy 1937 proof Buffalo nickels for around $1,000.