1917 Buffalo nickels, like nickels from other years in the 1910s, are fairly scarce in all respects and relatively expensive across the board. While more than 60 million Buffalo nickels were made in 1917, many have seen many years of heavy circulation, with millions of examples having their high-set dates worn to oblivion in the intervening years. Without a doubt, finding well-struck specimens of 1917 Buffalo nickels is a tricky endeavor to say the least, as is the situation with Buffalo nickels from virtually every other year of its 1913 through 1938 run.
Collecting the usual Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco varieties from 1917 poses a small challenge in terms of finding higher-grade pieces, particularly in the case of the examples from the branch mints. Only 9,910,000 nickels were struck at the Denver mint in 1917, while just 4,193,000 were made at the San Francisco mint – indeed tiny figures for a coin that did a lot of heavy lifting in circulation. Expect to spend at least $20 to acquire a well-worn example of either branch-mint specimen. As for Philadelphia-mint 1917 Buffalo nickels, prices are far less impressive. 51,424,019 nickels were made in Philadelphia in 1917, and prices for these pieces start at around $5 in Good-4.