Coin Value Finder » 1927 Buffalo Nickel Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

1927 Buffalo Nickel Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

The Buffalo Nickel from 1927 is highly sought after by coin collectors and enthusiasts. It’s not surprising, given its design’s complexity and its history’s depth.

However, why’s this coin so rare, and how can one determine its value? This detailed guide outlines all the essential aspects of the 1927 Buffalo Nickel, such as its condition, rarity, worth, and historical significance. This post is perfect for anyone interested in Buffalo Nickels, whether they’re seasoned collectors or simply fascinated by the coin.

The 1927 Buffalo Nickel Details

An overview of the coin’s details can be found below:

  • Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913–1938)
  • Mint: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.
  • Mintage: More than 47,000,000
  • Obverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
  • Reverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
  • Composition: 75% copper and 25% nickel
  • Weight: 8.1 g 
  • Diameter: 26.5 mm
  • Edge: Smooth

The United States Mint produced the Buffalo Nickel (also known as Indian Head Nickel) in 1927 as part of a five-cent piece series that circulated from 1913 to 1938. More than 47 million of the 1927 Buffalo Nickels were struck, making them a common collectible. This piece sports one of America’s most famous and aesthetically pleasing coin designs, which was masterminded by James Earle Fraser.

The obverse (front) of the design depicts the profile of a Native American facing right, with the year “1927” inscribed towards the bottom left corner. In contrast, the reverse (back) depicts a left-facing American Bison inspired by “Black Diamond,” a bison that lived in New York City’s Central Park Zoo. 

Below the denomination on the coin’s reverse is the mint mark, indicating whether it was struck — the Philadelphia (F), Denver (D), or San Francisco (S) Mint. In addition to a large image of the Black Diamond subject, which has its head bowed, the coin’s reverse features the word “LIBERTY” running parallel to the right side, and beneath it is a small “F” for Fraser.

The denomination “FIVE CENTS” and the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” can be found on the reverse’s bottom and top curls, respectively. Still on the coin’s reverse, you’ll find the Latin phrase “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” which means “Out of many, one.” It alludes to the fact that the United States was formed from separate states.

When it comes to specifications, the coin measures 21.2 mm in diameter and weighs 5 grams. A breakdown of its composition is 75% copper and 25% nickel.

The Buffalo Nickel from 1927 is widely regarded as a classic and desirable piece by coin enthusiasts. Collectors can find the 1927 Buffalo Nickel in conditions ranging from heavily worn to uncirculated. You can get a worn 1927 Buffalo Nickel for a few dollars, and for several hundred dollars, you can get a rare, high-grade example.

Also Read: 15 Most Valuable Nickels Worth Money

The 1927 Buffalo Nickel Coin Value Chart

In the following table, we outline the various values ascribed to each grade and mint mark of the 1927 Buffalo Nickel:

Mint Mark Good Fine  Extremely Fine  Uncirculated 


1927 no mint mark nickel Value $0.73 $1.84 $9 $26
1927 D nickel Value $2.16 $6 $55 $194
1927 S nickel Value $1.48 $5 $66 $839

The 1927 Buffalo Nickel Coin Value and Varieties Guides

Here, we discuss in detail the corresponding values of the various 1927 Buffalo Nickel coin varieties:

1927 “P” No Mint Mark Buffalo Nickel Value

1927 “P” No Mint Mark Buffalo Nickel

  • Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913–1938)
  • Mint: Philadelphia 
  • Mint Mark: Absent 
  • Mintage: 37,981,000
  • Face Value: 0.05 dollars
  • $ Price: $1.75 to $85
  • Obverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
  • Reverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
  • Composition: 75% copper and 25% nickel
  • Weight: 8.1 g
  • Diameter: 26.5 mm
  • Edge: Smooth 

The Philadelphia Mint accounted for about 80% of the 1927 Buffalo Nickel mintage — 38 million out of a total of 47 million. Unlike the coins struck at the other two Mints, these coins bear no mint mark.

Condition and rarity are two factors that determine the value of a 1927 (P) Buffalo Nickel without a mint mark. In good condition, this coin can be worth anywhere from $1 to $85, but this is just a ballpark figure. Collectors may pay a few hundred dollars or more for an uncirculated variant or one with an exceptionally high grade.

According to NGC, these coins, in the uncirculated state, are sold for as high as $4,250.

1927 “D” Buffalo Nickel Value

1927 “D” Buffalo Nickel

  • Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913–1938)
  • Mint: Denver
  • Mint Mark: D
  • Mintage: 5,730,000
  • Face Value: 0.05 dollars
  • $ Price: $3 to $400
  • Obverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
  • Reverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
  • Composition: 75% copper and 25% nickel
  • Weight: 8.1 g
  • Diameter: 26.5 mm
  • Edge: Smooth

1927 Buffalo Nickels with the “D” mint mark may not be the most valuable or rarest of the mint-marked 1920 issues. Still, they’re pretty difficult to come by in highly circulated and uncirculated conditions. This may be partly due to the relatively low mintage of 5,730,000.

Only about 1,500 to 2,000 are thought to be in perfect condition, and of those, only about 150 are MS65 or higher. Lower circulated examples of the 1927-D coins are relatively common, but high-quality examples (VF20 and above) are hard to come by. Expect to pay anything between $3 and $400 for the decent-looking variants of these coins and higher for uncirculated ones.

The NGC reports that these coins may sell for up to $22,500 on the open market.

1927 “S” Buffalo Nickel Value

1927 “S” Buffalo Nickel

  • Category: Buffalo Five Cents (1913-1938)
  • Mint: San Francisco 
  • Mint Mark: S
  • Mintage: 3,430,000
  • Face Value: 0.05 dollars
  • $ Price: $2 to $5,000
  • Obverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
  • Reverse Designer: James Earle Fraser
  • Composition: 75% copper and 25% nickel
  • Weight: 8.1 g
  • Diameter: 26.5 mm
  • Edge: Smooth

The 1927 San Francisco Buffalo Nickel is rarer than the 1927 Denver mint-marked coins, and the reason is so glaring — the Mint only struck a little less than 3.5 million coins. The 1927-S Buffalo Nickel is a complex semi-key issue that gets harder to find at higher grades. At most, fifty are thought to exist in Mint State 65 or better condition, making this issue among the rarest worldwide.

This rarity explains why collectors highly price the coin. Reports from NGC claim people pay as high as $72,500 for this nickel on the open market as long as it’s in pristine condition.

Also Read: Top 110 Most Valuable Nickels Worth Money

The 1927 Buffalo Nickel Coin History

1927 Buffalo Nickel Coin History

The Buffalo Nickel was introduced as part of efforts to revamp the United States currency. Previously used coin designs typically featured allegorical figures or classical motifs, which was a deviation from the norm. However, the inclusion of recognizable icons like the Native American and the American Bison gave the coin a sense of authenticity that helped it gain widespread acceptance.

For the obverse, Fraser drew inspiration from several different Native Americans. However, the reverse features a bison (also known as Buffalo) designed after a real animal—Black Diamond—that lived in New York City’s Central Park Zoo.

The Buffalo Nickel was in circulation between 1913 and 1938, when it was retired in favor of the Jefferson nickel. Collectors continue to place a high value on this coin because of its sentimental value as a piece of the history of American coinage. As a result, auctions can bring in a significant sum for some coins, especially those in mint condition or with apparent flaws.

The Buffalo Nickel is a popular collectible because of its historical significance in the American numismatic world. It’s also an essential piece of Native American and Western Americana due to the depiction of a Native American on the obverse. This image reflects the era’s evolving perspective of Native Americans and the growing appreciation for their cultural contributions.

The image of the bison on the reverse is an iconic representation of the American West and its wildlife. There was once a thriving population of American Bison; however, by the end of the 19th century, their numbers dropped drastically due to hunting. Therefore, the Buffalo Nickel is a reminder of the importance of conservation and the protection of endangered species while also paying homage to the iconic wildlife of the American West.

There are still many Buffalo Nickels in circulation and coin collections dating back to the first year of production. Unfortunately, the coin has been copied numerous times, and counterfeits abound. If you’re a collector, you should bear this in mind and buy only genuine coins from trusted vendors.

The Buffalo Nickel is also significant for its role in shaping American coins’ look. For example, the Native American and American Bison on the coin’s reverse set a new standard for coin design, influencing subsequent coins like the Kennedy Half Dollar.

Also Read: Top 19 Most Valuable Jefferson Nickels Worth Money

1927 Buffalo Nickel Grading

Grading coins based on their condition entails examining them (or their pictures) and making an educated guess about how well they’ve been kept. The most common grading scale for the 1927 Buffalo Nickel uses several grades ranging from extremely poor to uncirculated.

When considering the purchase or sale of a 1927 Buffalo Nickel, it’s vital to consider the coin’s grade. However, since grading is subjective, you should use a reliable third-party grading service to determine a coin’s actual grade.

Here’s an in-depth video on ascertaining your Buffalo Nickel grade.

Lists of the 1927 Buffalo Nickel Coin Errors

Just as condition and rarity affect the 1927 Buffalo Nickel value, so do its errors, and here are the most ones:

1. The Double-Die Obverse of the 1927 “S” Buffalo Nickel

Double-Die Obverse of the 1927 “S” Buffalo Nickel

When the dies used to strike a coin aren’t properly aligned, an error known as a “Double Die Obverse” occurs. In this case, the design elements on the obverse (front) of the coin are duplicated.

The Buffalo Nickel from 1927 is commonly cited as a coin production that features this error. However, due to their rarity, coins with this mistake are highly sought-after by collectors, increasing their value.

Depending on its condition, a 1927 S Buffalo Nickel with a Double Die Obverse can be worth several hundred dollars. The best examples are graded AU58 (“about uncirculated”). Four coins with this grading level from the PCGS were sold for $840 at its most recent sale in 2019.

2. 1927 “P” Buffalo Nickel (P) Curved Clipped Planchet

A “Curved Clipped Planchet” error occurs when a portion of the metal blank used to strike the coin is missing, resulting in a curved-shaped missing area on the coin.

This mistake appeared on a particular Buffalo Nickel from 1927 that was minted in Philadelphia. A notable portion of the planchet (up to 6%) had been clipped off. The coin was surprisingly flawless, earning a PCGS grade of MS64. When auctioned, it brought in over $200.

3. 1927 S Two Feathers Buffalo Nickel

1927 S Two Feathers Buffalo Nickel

There’s a variant of the 1927 Buffalo Nickel known as the 1927 S Two Feathers Buffalo Nickel. In this piece, the third feather on the Native American’s headdress on the coin’s obverse was accidentally removed during die polishing, leading to this error.

These error coins were produced in 1927 by the San Francisco mint. Even if they aren’t in the best condition, they can still fetch a high price. A VG10 (very good) coin is estimated to be worth around $100. Additionally, an MS64 grade 1927 Two Feather Buffalo Nickel brought $2,280 at a 2021 auction.

1927 Buffalo Nickel FAQs

What is a 1927 Buffalo Nickel made of?

Typical of US nickels from that era, 75% copper and 25% nickel went into making the 1927 Buffalo Nickel. This composition was chosen to lower the metal costs of making nickels while keeping the coin durable enough to be used as currency.

How much is a 1927 Indian Head?

A 1927 Indian Head nickel’s worth can fluctuate widely depending on its condition, rarity, and absence of error or variation. For example, while a 1927 Indian Head nickel in average circulated condition might only be worth $55, a rare uncirculated coin with a valuable error/variation might be worth up to $85,000.


Many have a soft spot in their coin collections for the 1927 Buffalo Nickel. It’s a highly valued coin for its beauty and rarity due to its one-of-a-kind design and historical significance. However, while some are more valuable than others, they’re all worth a look.

For the most accurate evaluation of a coin’s worth, it’s best to consult a reputable coin dealer or grading service. It should also be noted that coin values are subject to several market forces, including supply and demand. Summarily, the 1927 Buffalo Nickel is a timeless classic and a precious coin that collectors will always treasure.

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