1927 Buffalo Nickel
Around 45 million Buffalo nickels were made in 1927, which puts that year’s production about on par with every other year during the second half of the 1920s. As many numismatists realize when collecting Buffalo nickels on a year-by-year, 1927 marks the first year in the date-and-mintmark run where most every regular issue that follows is basically common. Yes, there are a couple more semi-key Buffalo nickels dated later than 1927, but by and large, the concentration of expensive dates in the series precede that year, which is definitely welcome news for coin collectors who are running on a tight budget.
When broken down by mint, 1927 Buffalo nickels predominated from the Philadelphia mint, where 37,981,000 were struck. Denver produced 5,730,000 while San Francisco made 3,430,000, evidencing that the branch mints made far fewer coins, as usual, than Philadelphia – a typical pattern among coins made during the first half of the 20th century. All 1927 nickels can be had for $1 to $2 in Good to Very Good condition, though prices escalate drastically around the Extremely Fine 40 area, where the 1927 branch-mint Buffaloes cost around $80 each, as compared to about $15 for the Philadelphia issue.
1920s Buffalo nickels, particularly branch-mint pieces, are known for being poorly struck, so bear this in mind as you shop around for Buffalo nickels. Cherrypick for well-struck pieces, and don’t be hasty in buying an uncirculated version, as nicely struck Buffaloes in the Mint States grades are worth a premium.