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The History Of The Buffalo Nickel - Part I

The buffalo nickel (also known as the Indian head nickel) was produced from 1913 through 1938 and was designed by James Earle Fraser. It is actually a bison, not a buffalo, on the reverse but more on that later. Early in 1911, Treasury Secretary Franklin MacVeagh's son wrote to him suggesting that there be a new design on the five-cent piece. The son had read the law which stipulated a coin design could not be changed more often than every 25 years. The 25 year “waiting” period for the........ Read More

The History Of The Buffalo Nickel - Part Ii

Continued from Part I A buffalo (bison) named Black Diamond, who was a resident of the New York Zoological Park served as the model. Fraser utilized a little artistic freedom to depict the bison as though he was on the Great Plains. A few years after the release of the nickel, Black Diamond was sold to a meat packing plant who then sold him as Black Diamond steaks despite numerous attempts to save him. The stuffed head of Black Diamond was displayed at a major coin convention during the 1980........ Read More


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