Since the U.S. Mint dates all coins it produces, collectors consider a Buffalo Indian Head nickel with the date rubbed off as a low-grade coin likely worth about 50 cents. The intrinsic value of the metal in the coins is around 5 cents, as of 2014.
Buffalo nickels from 1936 are some of the least valuable from the Buffalo nickel series, valued between 43 cents and $21, as of 2014. Value depends on the condition and mintmark of the coin. The coins from San Francisco are worth the most, followed by those from Denver and Philadelphia.
Also known as a buffalo nickel because of the animal on the flip side, an Indian head nickel is very rare according to the website Rare Buffalo Nickel. However, most of these coins are not terribly valuable, despite the fact that there are not many in circulation.
The value of an Indian Head nickel, also known as a Buffalo nickel, does change over time and, as of 2015, has fallen off somewhat since its peak in 2008. Numerous publications track the value of Indian Head nickels and other collectible coins.
The U.S. Mint believes that the Native American figure depicted on the Buffalo Indian Head nickel is a composite image of Chief Iron Tail of the Lakota Sioux, Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne and another unnamed American Indian. The coins were designed by James Earle Fraser.
The mint mark on the 1936 buffalo nickel is located on the reverse of the coin, just below the "Five Cents" designation beneath the buffalo. The copper coins were struck in Denver (D), San Francisco (S) and Philadelphia (no mint mark).
The value of a U.S. 1937 Indian buffalo nickel ranges between $1.75 to $45. There is a very rare error in this coin in which the buffalo has only three legs. This error is worth upwards of $5,000.
The person on the modern U.S. nickel is Thomas Jefferson. He was the third president of the United States and the author of the Declaration of Independence. He also founded the University of Virginia.
Based on the 2014 prices listed by CoinStudy, an uncirculated 1947 Jefferson nickel from Philadelphia or San Francisco is worth $1.63, and one from Denver is worth $1.67. Coins in circulation are generally not collected by dealers.
As of 2014, the nickel coin features a portrait of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States. The reverse depicts Jefferson's Virginia home, Monticello. In 1938, the Jefferson nickel replaced the Indian head or Buffalo nickel design that had been in use since 1913.