1918 Buffalo Nickel
1918 is an interesting year for collectors of Buffalo nickels. While the usual Philadelphia-, Denver-, and San Francisco-mint issues are enough to keep most series numismatists happy, there is also a quite popular (and highly expensive) die variety from 1918 that definitely registers well among Buffalo nickel enthusiasts, and that’s the 1918 8-over-7. More on the 1918/7 Buffalo nickel in a moment, though. First, let’s discuss the regular 1918 Buffalo nickels in brief.
About 45 million Buffalo nickels were made in 1918, and while this number sounds decently high (and, it is in isolation of some factors we’ll touch on in just a second), nickels from that year are decidedly pricey, especially in the case of 1918 branch mint examples. 8,362,000 Buffalo nickels were made at the Denver mint in 1918, and most start at around $20 for a highly worn example. San Francisco struck 4,882,000, with examples costing around $20 for a piece in Good to Very Good. The relative scarcity of both the ’18-D and ’18-S nickels is attributed to the fact that a large fraction of nickels within both of these issues were worn to the point that the date was virtually obliterated, so many 1918 nickels can’t even be identified without the use of a damaging acid test.
The 1918 Philadelphia nickel is far more common than either of that year’s branch mint issues and is subsequently much less expensive. 32,086,314 Buffalo nickels were made at the Philadelphia mint in 1918, and prices for these issues begin at around $5 for an example in Good-4.