Who Is on the Buffalo Indian Head Nickel?

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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 U.S. Mint produced Buffalo Indian Head nickels from 1913 to 1938. During that time, the Mint struck at least 1.2 billion copies of the coin. The side opposite the American Indian profile features a buffalo. In 2001, the Mint issued a collectible version of the Buffalo Indian Head nickel as a commemorative coin.