1937 Buffalo Nickel Value and Prices

1937 nickels are very prevalent and, at most, are only worth a small fraction of their face value. However, your numismatic collection may be worth a fortune due to its significance, melt value, and misstruck errors.

What is the value of a 1937 nickel, then? The value of a 5-cent 1937 D buffalo nickel is around $1.8. Some coin sellers circulate fake coins these days.

So, before agreeing to sell your coins for more than they are worth, it’s essential to be familiar with them as a numismatic.

What is The 1937-Nickel Coin?

1937 Buffalo Nickel

Each year, the United States Mint issues new.750 silver and copper alloy coins with a new design. The 1937 nickel was produced in two different sizes:750 copper and.250 nickel. The 5-cent ace value coin from 1937 features a native on the obverse and a buffalo on the reverse.


In 1883, the United States introduced a new design for circulating coins. This included the design of the 1937 nickel coin, which took the place of a previous one that had been out of circulation since 1883. Felix Schlag designed this original 1937 nickel.

Reason For Minting

No American currency had a denomination of 5 Cents before the 1937 nickel was introduced. Since most coins at the time were too plain and needed an upgrade, the US Mint came up with this coin design and added a symbolic image of liberty to its obverse.

There was a demand for coins during the Great Depression. As a result of a coin shortage, demand was high. A large number of 5-cent coins were taken out of circulation by the Federal Reserve because they were getting too small and had less value.

This led to the enactment of the Coinage Act of 1935. This law mandated that all US coins be larger and heavier to maintain their purchasing power. F. E. Scallon, director of the Philadelphia Mint, oversaw the first strike of this commemorative examples and round number. President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted this struck version from the mint on behalf of the American people.

SEE: 1776 To 1976 Silver Dollar Value

Varieties Of The 1937-Nickel

There are five unique design iterations of the 1937 nickel. The last digit of a coin’s date indicates the type. For example, if the final date on a coin is 3, it is a “Type 3” coin. Before selling your coins, you should become familiar with the distinctive qualities that each design type has.

1937 Type 1 (Buffalo) Nickel Value

James Earle Fraser created the Buffalo nickel, which took the place of the Liberty Head quarter as the country’s five-cent coin, in 1913. During World War I, when silver was expensive enough to be produced daily, the coin circulated more widely than silver quarters.

Fraser based the American bison on a buffalo in the Central Park Zoo in New York City by the name of Black Diamond. Both the Native Americans and the actual animal depicted on this type of nickel go by the name “Buffalo.”

Basic 1937 Type 1 (Buffalo) Nickel 

1937 V-nickel and 1937 No-VDB, a common, heavily circulated buffalo nickel, is worth approximately $2.26, while one in excellent condition with the original mint luster intact is worth $41.73.

1937 No VDB Buffalo Nickel

A 1937 buffalo nickel without the initials “VDB” (Victor David Brenner) on the reverse sold for $72,200 at a Heritage Auction in August 2010.

At that auction, a second coin with a lower market value than the first sold for roughly half as much. It is difficult to argue that these coins aren’t rare, even though some numismatists question whether they are actually faked.

By examining the first digit of the date, you can quickly tell if a 1937 Type 1 buffalo nickel is authentic. If the number is “8,” you have the correct coin. Every genuine Buffalo nickel has Fraser’s signature, two evenly spaced vertical lines next to the rim on either side of the number 8. To prevent Japanese propaganda against America, these lines were changed or removed during World War II. As a result, any coin with those lines is not authentic.

1937 V-Nickel

Your 1937 buffalo nickel is a “V-nickel” if these lines are visible, and it doesn’t have a “VDB.” The only way to tell whether your coin is a genuine 1937 V-Nickel or a fake is to look at how the word “FIVE” is written. It has a flat matte design that lacks a lot of detail, and the details on fake V-Nickel coins are more distinct.

1937 D Over S Buffalo Nickel (Doubled Die) 

The reverse of the Type 2 buffalo nickel from 1937 is distinct from that of the Type 1 version. It depicts an American bison or Buffalo, which is less detailed than its predecessor but still well executed. If you compare this coin to one without a “D” mintmark, you will see that the ground beneath Black Diamond’s hooves is raised. 

SEE: 1885 Silver Dollar Value

Features Of 1937-Nickel Coin

Whose image appears on the 1937 nickel coin?

The 1937 nickel obverse features a portrait of a Native American wearing a war bonnet with braids and feathers.

Obverse And Reverse Features

James Earle Fraser’s bust of the Indian Head nickel design is featured on the obverse of the 1937 nickel coin. On the obverse, the word “LIBERTY” is surrounded by stars. Certain areas of the coin are divided from others by a line border.

The Fraser-created bison design is displayed on the reverse. The middle Buffalo has a sizable “FIVE CENTS” written partially within it. The Buffalo was initially created for the Buffalo nickel coin. There is also a line border around this side of the coin.

Additionally, the 1937 Nickel coin has ridges on both sides that set it apart from other areas of the coin. These ridges are unique to US coins and cannot be found on any other type of currency.

Mintmark On The 1937-Nickel Coin

Although Philadelphia did not formally stop using a mintmark until 1942, none of the 1937-nickels have one. 1937-dated coins from all three mints bear the D or S mintmark for the corresponding location. There is no reason to specifically search for either of those designations since the San Francisco facility did not strike any coins in 1937. On the other hand, Denver did mint its coins in 1937 without the federal government’s help, and those are also worth looking for. However, most coin dealers and collectors are interested in Philadelphia issues of regular nickels issued during this period.

Slogans On The 1937-Nickel Coin.

“E Pluribus Unum,” United States of America” and “Five cents,”

Weight And Dimensions Of The 1937-Nickel Coin

  • Weight of Metal: 5 grams
  • Diameter: 21.21mm
  • Thickness: 1.52mm

Value Of 1937-Nickel Coin

A nickel coin’s worth varies depending on the buyers and sellers. However, to ensure you’re getting a good deal, you can figure out the reasonable average price for a coin.

Comparison Table Highlighting The Value Of The 1937-Nickel

Condition/Coin Variety19371937 D1937 D 3 Leg1937 S
Extremely Fine$2.45$2.83$430$3.42

Denominational Value Of The 1937-Nickel Coin 

 Five-cent nickel coins have been produced in the United States, Since 1866. We still have many coins that are very valuable after more than a century. One such coin is the 1937 nickel. It was produced as a 5-cent coin in 1937 and was created by Felix Schlag. So, a 1937 nickel coin has a face value of $0.05.

How Much Is a 1937 Nickel Coin’s Metal Worth?

The 1937 nickel coin comprises 75% copper and 25% nickel. It has a 5-gram mass, and today’s metal price is 0.08 USD. But the history of their use in circulation and how uncommon they are are more valuable to collectors.

For instance, a table listing “keys” can be found in the 1946 third edition of the Red Book (rare coins categorized as having extreme value). One such key is the 1937-D nickel, listed at $15 in Good condition, and Mint State 63 condition for $400. If your coin isn’t identified as part of a specific group, such as war nickels, mercury D, or another, it will be worth its metal value plus or minus any numismatic value.

How Much Does The 1937 Nickel Coin Cost At The Pawnshop?

The US nickel coin from 1937 is worth $2 to $20 at the pawn shop. Everything is dependent on the coin’s state, and its value decreases as it gets older and more used. If your 1937-nickel US coin is in excellent condition, the pawn shop should be able to give you between $2 and $20.

Rarity has no bearing on the scrap metal value of a US nickel, but mint marks and denomination (1, 5, 10, 25, 50) do. These are located below the date on the coin’s reverse. US nickel coins in good condition without rust or corrosion have the highest scrap metal value.

The least desirable nickels were minted in 1982 or earlier if they were made of a copper-nickel alloy rather than a silver alloy (since 1866) or had a silver “cent” sign on their reverse.

How Does The Mintage Affect The Value Of A 1937 Nickel?

Your 1937 Buffalo nickel’s worth is determined by its mintage and condition. In the 1937 production, eight different mintmarks were used. The following are the mintmarks: Philadelphia has no mintmark, Denver has a small or large “D” or “S,” San Francisco has an “S,” New Orleans has an “O,” and the following three mints have a mintmark above the shoulder of the Buffalo on the reverse side of the coin: Baltimore has a small or large “B,” and both the Denver and San Francisco mints have an “S.”

SEE: Half Dollar Coin Value


How Much Will a Cleaned 1937 Buffalo Nickel Sell For?

No matter which mintmark is shown on the coin’s reverse side, a buffalo nickel that has been cleaned—that is, polished or rubbed with something to make it look “nicer”—would not be worth more than $3.50 in well-used condition.

What’s the value of a 1937 Buffalo Nickel with some of the original mint luster?

Depending on which mintmark is visible on the coin’s reverse side, a buffalo nickel with some of its original mint lusters will be worth between $6.50 and $14 in worn condition. In pristine condition, a 1937 buffalo nickel with all of its original mint lusters is worth at least $50.

What Is The Value Of An Electroplated 1937 Buffalo Nickel?

No matter which mintmark is shown on the reverse side of the coin, a well-worn 1937 nickel that has been electroplated (comprising a plating of precious metal to enhance the coin’s appearance) will not be worth more than $3.50.

Bottom Line

A 1937 nickel in average condition is worth $1.12, and one graded as high as MS-66 will fetch $149. To the right collector, however, some incredibly rare 1937 nickels could be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

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