1929 Buffalo Nickel
1929 was the year of the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression. Mentioning the Great Depression when talking about Buffalo nickels (and other United States coins) is important because the economic woes of the 1930s, most particularly those experienced during the deepening of the economic downfall in the early 1930s, led to a drastic reduction in coin production.
However, 1929 mintage figures were relatively unaffected by the Great Depression (the stock market crash occurred in October). Around 50 million Buffalo nickels were made in 1929 – a substantial figure in every respect for the era. Breaking down the mintages by mint shows that 36,446,000 were made in Philadelphia, 8,370,000 in Denver, and 7,754,000 in San Francisco. Across the board, it is possible to buy any of those pieces for as little as $2 in grades as high as Fine-12. All three dates are obtainable even in Mint State 60 for under $60 to $75 – much less than most of the Buffalo nickels from earlier years.
1929 Buffalo nickels, which were designed by James Earle Fraser, feature a high-relief design with many intricate details that were very difficult for the dies to fully strike in mass production. For this reason, many Buffalo nickels display poor amounts of detail, which is especially true among Denver and San Francisco Buffaloes. Therefore, you should always shop around when you are buying high-grade Buffalo nickels, and do your best to purchase well-struck pieces. High-detail Buffalo nickels (especially those with full horns on the Buffalo) demand a premium.