With the Buffalo nickel series winding down and a contest already opened for artists to submit designs for the proposed Jefferson nickel, Buffaloes were made in small quantities in 1938. In fact, only the Denver mint struck Buffalo nickels in 1938, with a total mintage of 7,020,000. Despite their relatively small mintage figure, 1938 Buffalo nickels are not generally considered all that scarce, and can be had for about $5 in the lower circulated grades. Even in Mint State 60, the value of a 1938-D Buffalo nickel is only around $35.
There is one significant die variation for 1938-D Buffalo nickels, and that is the 1938-D D-over-S variety. Interestingly, the 1938-D D-over-S Buffalo nickel was the first repunched mintmark U.S. coin variety to have ever been discovered, and caused much excitement in the numismatic community when these coins were first publicized in 1962. Despite the novelty of the 1938-D D-over-S nickel, they are not very expensive to buy, at only $6 in Good-4 and $60 in Mint State 60. There were no proof Buffalo nickels made in 1938 – the brand new Jefferson nickel took the honor of representing five-cent coins among the proof offerings of that year.