The Buffalo nickel remains a popular collectible coin even more than eight decades after the last issue of the series rolled off the United States Mint presses. While Buffalo nickels are often considered an affordable series, one must not forget the many challenging key and semi-key dates throughout this run of nickels that spans from 1913 through 1938.
One of the most significant regular-issue semi keys is the 1926-S, which saw the lowest mintage among all circulation strikes in the series at just 970,000 pieces. Even in well-worn grades, the 1926-S Buffalo nickel is a pricey coin. Specimens in Fine-12 trade for around $80 while examples in Extremely Fine-40 fetch about $600. The prices only ascend exponentially further from there on up the grading scale, with pieces in lower-end uncirculated grades commanding high four-figure prices.
So it's little surprise that when an exceedingly rare specimen of the 1926-S Buffalo nickel in the Gem grades crossed the Stack's Bowers Galleries auction block that it was going to land some serious numbers. And that's exactly what happened when a specimen graded Mint State-65 by Professional Coin Grading Service realized $66,000 in a November 2020 session of the Larry H. Miller Collection sale.
*Image is courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries.