A substantial number of Buffalo nickels were made in 1919, a year during which more than 70 million five-cent coins were made across all three then-operating mints (Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco). Still, that doesn’t mean that 1919 nickels are the cheapest in the bunch to collect – only is that the case among Buffalo nickels of the 1910s. In relation to the entire 1913-1938 series, any Buffalo nickel from the 1910s is considered relatively scarce and is definitely more challenging to find in the higher grades and much more expensive to collect as well.
In fact, Buffalo nickels of just about any year are pretty difficult to find with a decent strike. This is owing to the fact that many elements of the design, created by James Earle Fraser, were quite challenging for machinery at the United States Mint to strike. Buffalo nickel dies wore out quickly, and even design modifications made in 1913 and 1916 were not enough to really help prolong the life of each Buffalo nickel die. Therefore, you’ll need to look high and low for any really decently struck Buffalo nickels, and the same goes for examples from 1919.
If you’re a cherrypicker, at least you’ll have several options from which to choose, as 60,868,000 Buffalo nickels were made at the Philadelphia mint in 1919 alone. 8,006,000 were produced at the Denver mint and 7,521,000 were produced at the San Francisco mint. Prices aren’t extraordinarily high for well-circulated 1919 Buffalo nickels; $2 can fetch a Philadelphia specimen in Good-4, while $15 to $20 is enough to pick up an example from either the Denver or San Francisco mint in the same grade.