Indian Head Nickel

Chris D. writes: We would like to know if the indian on the Indian head/Buffalo nickel was modeled on a real person, and if so, who it was. Thank-you very much.


The Indian Head/Buffalo Nickel. I want to provide you with information on this historic coin even though it contains no silver. A small number of them can be quite valuable plus the images appearing on the obverse and reverse are among the best of any U.S. Designed by James Earle Fraser (his initial F appears beneath the date) the nickel was struck from 1913 through 1938. The crew has compiled an awesome list we've dubbed 25 Most Valuable Nickels, and the page details the most valuable nickels minted in the United States from the late 1800's to the early 2000's. (Updated 2021) The values are descending so the most valuable are at the top. (so its a count up and not a countdown).


The Indian on the Indian Head or Buffalo Nickel (1913-1936) is a composite portrait of Three Indian Chiefs – Iron Tail, the Chief that faced General Custer at the battle of Little Big Horn, Two Moons and John Big Tree. The idea was to create a Native American portrait but not to associate the facial features with any specific tribe. The reverse of the coin shows a bison, often called a “buffalo”, thought to be “Black Diamond” from the Bronx Zoo. Earn real money online paypal accounts.

Indian Head Nickel Coins Value

This was the second time that a Native American portrait has appeared on a U.S. coin (the first is on the 1908 gold $2.5 and $5 gold coins). Note that the third instance of a Native American to appear on a United States coin is on the current dollar coin. It features the portrait of Sacagawea, the young Indian guide that helped the Louis and Clark Expedition find their way through the Louisiana Territory.

Buffalo Nickel Price Guide