Most Expensive Coins

1920 D Buffalo Nickel: A Complete Guide

1920 D Buffalo Nickel

Buffalo nickel coins minted between 1913 and 1938 is the 1920-D 5 Cent coin. This coin, which was struck in Denver and is known as a Business (MS) striking, is made up of 25% nickel and 75% copper, with an overall mintage of 9,418,000.

All grades of the 1920 D Buffalo nickel are rare; circulated specimens from Fine to Very Fine are harder to find. The 1920-D Buffalo nickel is rarer than the majority of other Denver-mint issues from the series when it is associated with uncirculated and especially Gem grading. Fewer than 5,000 examples of the 1920-D Buffalo Nickel remain out of the 9,418,000 that were originally struck. Of these, fewer than 100 are graded MS65 or higher. 

There is only one coin graded as MS67 by NGC, and fewer than 12 coins have been graded as MS66 by PCGS and NGC. Each MS66 coin is worth over $5,000, and they often sell for much higher prices at auctions, especially when multiple collectors are bidding on the same item.

History Of 1920 D Buffalo Nickel

The Denver mint made an almost constant amount of nickels every year between 1917 to 1920, yet the majority of the 1920 D nickels were kept in vaults for the following few years. In the last decade of 1920, a severe recession came in, making coining nickels essential for the Midwest until 1924. 

While the majority of the pieces are of insufficient quality, this issue is not genuinely uncommon in Mint State. The majority of certified gems are poor strikes caused by worn and fractured dies, which has significantly reduced the amount of diamonds. The unique repunched mintmark on 1920 D nickels makes these coins a highly sought-after variation.


Designer: James Earle Fraser

Edge: Plain

Diameter: 21.20 Millimeters

Weight: 5.00 Grams

Mintage: 9,418,000

Mint: Denver

Metal: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel

Basic Design:

Obverse: The word LIBERTY shows from 1-2 o’clock on a Native American chief in James Earle Fraser’s famous and simple design. The chieftain’s bust shows the date positioned on the lower left side.

Reverse A complete representation of the Black Diamond bison, with the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM just under and the text UNITED STATES OF AMERICA at the top edge. At the base is the denomination in FIVE CENTS. On a level surface, the Type 1’s denomination is printed.

1920 D Buffalo Nickel Value

According to the NGC Price Guide, a Buffalo Nickel is valued between $5 and $600 from 1920 in the circulated condition as of June 2024. However, 1920 D Nickels in pristine, uncirculated condition deal for as much as $155000 on the open market.

Also Read – 1917 S Buffalo Nickel: A Collector’s Guide


The 1920-D Buffalo Nickel is a unique and valuable part of the Buffalo Nickel series minted between 1913 and 1938. With a mintage of 9,418,000, it is made up of 25% nickel and 75% copper. Despite its overall availability, this coin is rare in all grades, especially in uncirculated and Gem conditions. 

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