- United States Coins
- Buffalo Nickels
- 1930 Buffalo Nickel
1930 Buffalo Nickel
The economic downturn of the Great Depression, precipitated largely by the stock market crash in October 1929, already had a ripple effect on coin production at the United States Mint. Less than 30 million Buffalo nickels were made in 1930, with only the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints making Buffalo nickels that year. Of the two mints striking Buffalo nickels in 1930, Philadelphia struck the vast majority of five-cent pieces, with 22,849,000 nickels produced there; the San Francisco mint made 5,435,000 five-cent coins in 1930.
Even with the limited mintage of Buffalo nickels that year, neither the 1930 nor 1930-S Buffalo nickel is considered scarce, in relative terms at least. In fact, either can be bought for less then $2 in Good to Very Good grades. Even uncirculated specimens are reasonably priced, at around $40 to $50 for a Mint State example.
As is the case for the entire series, 1930 Buffalo nickels were not struck well. This problem is mainly related to the fact that the dies were unable to produced mass quantities of the coin thanks to its ornate, high-relief design. In fact, Buffalo nickel dies wore out as much as three times more quickly than did Liberty nickel dies. Therefore, you should spend a little extra time when shopping around for high-grade Buffalo nickels to ensure that you get a high-quality piece with great detail.