1928 Buffalo Nickel Coin Value Checker

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Many collectors love the Buffalo Nickel, which ran from 1913 to 1938. These coins look different from the ones we have today, and they are a wonderful addition to any collection. If you have one in your possession, or are looking to buy one, then you’ll want to know what they are worth.

Thankfully, we have all the information you need right here about the 1928 Buffalo Nickel value. We’ll look at the value of its varieties and answer some key FAQs. Read on to find out more.

1928 Buffalo Nickel Value Chart

Coin Grade MS60 MS63 MS66 MS67
1928 No Mint Mark Nickel $50 $75 $750 $5,000
1928 D Nickel $75 $100 $3,500 $15,000
1928 S Nickel $275 $500 $10,000 $20,000

1928 Buffalo Nickel Value by Mint Mark

The 1928 Nickel is one of the classic coins in American history and has a much different look from the coins we have today. It’s part of a series called Buffalo Nickels which were minted from 1913 up to 1938. 

Designed by James Earle Fraser, it is one of the most unique coins you can collect. On the obverse it has a figure of an Indian which was inspired by two famous Native Americans called Two Moons and Iron Tail. On the reverse it has the image of an American Bison.

Made of 75% copper and 25% nickel, these coins were struck in three different mints specifically in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. Here, we’ll look at the value of these coins from these mints and how each of them is different. 

It’s a great idea to use a Coin Value Checker so you can get an idea of just how much your nickel is worth. 

1928 No Mint Mark Buffalo Nickel

Up until the 1980s, Philadelphia very rarely marked its coins and the year 1928 is no different. So, when we talk about ‘No Mint Mark’ coins, it means they were minted in this historic city. It is the oldest mint and often the one tasked with creating the most coins. 

In 1928 they minted 23,411,00 dimes out of a total of 36,783,000. Due to this high quantity, they are generally the least valuable coins from the three mints. That being said, they can still fetch very high prices when in great condition.

When just in ‘Good’ condition, these coins sell for little more than their face value at around $2. It’s only in the very highest grades that the value becomes significant. Even at a grade of 50, you can expect $20 on average. 

Mint State coins start at a grade of 60 and at this point, the value rises to $50. With over 20 million of these coins made, you’ll need your coin to be in near-perfect condition for it to be worth a significant sum of money. 

The record sale price for a 1928 No Mint Mark Buffalo Nickel was $11,500, which was sold in 2004. This was an MS67-graded coin. At that grade level, most coins sell for an average of $5,000. If you think you have a perfect 1928 Nickel, make sure to get it graded.

1928 D Buffalo Nickel

Compared to Philadelphia, Denver only produced around a quarter of their number of dimes (6,436,000 in total) which automatically makes them more rare. While this doesn’t always translate to higher price, the 1928 Buffalo D Nickel is generally more valuable. 

However, there is an important factor that makes the Denver Nickel not quite as valuable as it may have been. Shortly after 1928, The Great Depression happened, which lasted until 1939. During this time, many Denver Nickels were sitting in storage, not required for circulation.

This means that there are many coins surviving until today in excellent condition. Even with this factored into play, they can still have impressive value. The record sale for a 1928 D Buffalo Nickel is $17,250, which was sold back in 2012.

While MS66 coins are easily found, MS67 Dimes are still very hard to come by so they would generate big sales if auctioned today. If you have an MS66 coin, you can still expect to receive at least $3,500. That reduces to just $100 for an MS63 coin.

A coin graded as good will only fetch around $2.50, with $55 as the average price for a 50-rated coin. Even with this being an old and relatively rare coin, you need it to be in mint condition to get the big bucks. 

1928 S Buffalo Nickel

The rest of the 6,936,000 1928 Nickels were made in San Francisco. As with the Denver coins, these nickels have a mint mark. While the Denver coins are marked with a “D” and San Francisco coins on the other hand are marked with an “S”.

These mint marks are small but quite easy to spot. They are on the reverse (buffalo) side of the coin and can be found just under the “FIVE CENTS” lettering, specifically between the “E” and “C”. If there is no mark there, it was made in Philadelphia. 

While they are similar in mintage to Denver coins, the San Francisco coins are generally more valuable. The reason for this is due to how these coins were struck when they were made.

The 1928 S Buffalo Nickel was softly struck and therefore many of the coins did not have fine details on them. It’s thought that this is because the planchets (blank coin discs) were not properly softened and the dye that strikes the coin was set too far away. 

What does this all mean for the coins we have today? It means that San Francisco coins in near-perfect condition are extremely rare, and therefore valuable. The record sale for a 1928 S Nickel is an eye-watering $46,000.

That was a coin with an MS67 grade, but most coins at this grade sell for less, with the average being around $20,000. MS66 are a little more common but sales can still be expected of $10,000 or more and even $500 at an MS63 grade. 

Even 50 graded coins here can sell for $100. The evidence is clear. If you have a 1928 Nickel, especially from San Francisco, it’ll probably be worth a lot more than from either Denver or Philadelphia. 

1928 Buffalo Nickel Value Grading

Are you a little confused about the grading system? It’s actually quite simple. Coins are graded from 1 to 70, with 70 being the biggest. The “MS” that you see before the number stands for Mint State and this is given to any coin rated at 60 or above. There is also “PR” for proof coins, however, no proof nickels were made in 1928. 

1928 Buffalo Nickel Value Errors

Coins will lose value if damaged after the manufacturing process. However, if there was an error made during the striking of the coin, this can actually add to their value. Let’s see the common errors on the 1928 Buffalo Nickel. 

Two Feathers 

There should be three feathers on the Native American’s hair. One of those feathers is small and discreet, as it should be between the main feather and the Native American’s neck. However, on some coins this is missing. 

This happens as the dyes used to strike the coin were over polished, and therefore lost some sharpness. This error isn’t too rare but can still be worth over $200. 

Double Dye

A doubled dye is one that has been struck twice. This can often happen when the coin gets stuck in the dye. When this happens, there can be a slight doubling of the whole image. The worth of the coin will depend on how bad the doubling is. The worse it is, the more valuable it is. 


Lamination happens when some part of the coin cracks or peels away. This can happen for quite a few reasons but it’s usually due to a low-quality planchet. These errors generally aren’t highly sought after and therefore not very valuable. 

Missing Horn

Another detailing issue that these coins can have is when the horn on the buffalo has its tip missing. This is probably due to a slightly off-center strike. These missing details are usually quite minimal and not that valuable. 

1928 Buffalo Nickel Value – FAQs 

How rare is a 1928 Buffalo nickel?

The 1928 Buffalo Nickel is not seen as a rare coin. In total, over 36 million of them were made and plenty of these still survive today. In poor condition, you can easily collect any nickel from 1928 and they won’t be worth more than face value.

What makes a 1928 Buffalo nickel valuable?

While the 1928 Buffalo Nickel itself isn’t rare, having one of these coins in near-perfect condition is. If you have one in MS66 grade or above then it’s rare and will be worth a lot of money. The other factor that can make a valuable coin is if you have one of the rare errors. 

What year Buffalo nickel is worth the most?

There isn’t really one year of Buffalo Nickel that shines above the rest when it comes to value. As mentioned, the value comes from either having a coin that has an extremely high grade or one with a famous on popular error. 


The 1928 Buffalo Nickel is a great piece of American history and if you have one in great condition, it could be worth a small fortune.