US Coins

Brilliant Proof 1936 Indian Head 5-cent coin shines

James Earle Fraser’s Indian Head 5-cent coin has endured more than a century since it was first released in 1913. Matte Proof coins in the series were produced in a Matte Finish between 1913 and 1916 and then with two different finished in 1936 through 1938, when the series was replaced by the Jefferson 5-cent piece. 

The 4,420 Proof Indian Head 5-cent pieces produced in 1936 had either a Satin or Brilliant Finish, with the Satin Finish coins being the more common of the two (although the actual production numbers of each remain elusive). 


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A Brilliant Proof 68 1936 Indian Head 5-cent piece graded by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker is among the finest known in the entire series and brought $19,200 at Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Aug. 15 Rarities Night auction at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia. 

(The series is popularly called the “Buffalo nickel” although the noble creature on the reverse is more accurately described as a bison.)

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