The Philadelphia Mint struck proof versions of the Buffalo Nickel in limited numbers for just six years of the series. Collectively, there were only 16,148 Proof Buffalo Nickels issued compared to more than 1.2 billion coins issued for circulation.

The first period during which proof Buffalo Nickels were issued was at the beginning of the series from 1913 to 1916. The first year of issue included both Variety 1 and Variety 2 versions, with the buffalo standing on a raised or flat mound. The proof coins of this period carry matte proof surfaces, often toned to a natural gray-blue-pink color. Most are well struck and pieces are always in demand.

The second period was near the end of the series for the years 1936 and 1937. The first year can be found with matte or brilliant surfaces, while the second year was struck only as brilliant. These coins were struck in larger numbers, but remain popular with collectors as the first two years of the modern proof set era. The coins were originally issued as part of the 1936 Proof Set, 1937 Proof Set, or offered individually at 20 cents each.



Proof Buffalo Nickel Mintages

1913 Variety 1 1,520
1913 Variety 2 1,514
1914 1,275
1915 1,050
1916 600
1936 4,420
1937 5,769