Arguably the first “common” year for Buffalo nickels, 1920 saw relatively high mintage figures across the board for the coin, especially as compared to earlier years. 63,093,000 Buffalo nickels were made at the Philadelphia mint in 1920, and even the Denver and San Francisco mints each produced nearly 10 million nickels each; more precisely, 9,418,000 were struck in the Mile-High City while 9,689,000 rolled out of the City by the Bay.
Substantially high mintage figures definitely help to keep prices lower for coin collectors, who welcome the fact that each of three 1920 issues can be had for around $10 or less, in Good-4 at least. In fact, the 1920 Philadelphia issue can be bought for less than $2 in Good-4. You’ll need to shell out around $9 for a 1920-D in Good-4 while a 1920-S will set you back only about $5 for an example in similar condition.
Buying 1920 Buffalo nickels can be a challenge for anyone who wants a decently struck example, as virtually issues from the series were poorly struck. This is largely due to the fact that the detail-rich design was very hard for the dies to properly strike; even modifications that were made to address these problems in 1913 and 1916 were not enough to solve the problem. One major issue that nearly all Buffalo nickel collectors have to grapple with is the position of the coin’s date, which is set very high on the coin and thus had a propensity to wear off the coin. This is one reason that millions of Buffalo nickels are “dateless.”