PARRIS ISLAND COINS » 2005 Buffalo Nickel Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?

2005 Buffalo Nickel Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?

2005 buffalo nickel value

Welcome to the world of the 2005 Buffalo Nickel coin!

First released to the public in 2005, the coin is popular among coin enthusiasts, investors, and collectors for its stunning design and historical significance.

Its design was inspired by the Indian Head Nickel minted from 1913 to 1938. Besides that, the 2005 Buffalo nickel is also valuable, with some varieties going for as much as $2,500.

Today, we are excited to explore all the aspects of the 2005 Buffalo nickel, including its background, varieties, value, and errors. Join us as we unlock the secrets of this iconic coin.

2005 Buffalo Nickel Value Chart

Mint Mark Condition
Extremely Fine About Uncirculated Uncirculated

(MS 64)

Uncirculated (MS 65)
2005 “P” Buffalo Nickel Value  









2005 “P” Buffalo Nickel Satin Value  








2005 “D” Buffalo Nickle Value  








2005 “D” Buffalo Nickle Satin Value  








2005 Proof Buffalo Nickel Value  






2005 P Buffalo Nickel Value

2005 P Buffalo Nickel Value
Image Credit: pcgs

The 2005 Buffalo Nickel or 2005 Jefferson Nickel is part of the Westward Journey Nickel series, minted by the U.S mint in 2004 and 2005. It’s a commemorative coin that honors the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and Louisiana Purchase.

In 2002, mint officials contacted the office of the Representative, Eric Cantor, to propose the re-design of the Jefferson coins to commemorate the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. But the representative had concerns about removing the Monticello from the nickel’s reverse, considering it was located in his state – Virginia.

To prevent this, Cantor sponsored a bill, which allowed the mint to produce several designs for the nickel in 2003, 2004, and 2005. The legislation also stated the Monticello reverse will return on the nickel in 2006.

In 2003, the bill was signed into law, and the mint began working on the westward journey series. In 2004, it released the Peace Medal nickel designed by Mint engraver Norman E. Nemeth and the Keelboat nickel designed by sculptor Alfred Malinsky.

As for the 2005 nickels, they featured two unique designs. The first one depicted a new portrait of President Jefferson on the obverse, symbolizing his role in the Louisiana Purchase and the expedition.

Designer Joe Fitzgerald also included the word “LIBERTY” written in calligraphy style. Surprisingly, the engraver sourced the word from the president’s handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence, although he had to rely on another document written by Jefferson.

For the reverse, designer Jamie Franki re-introduced the famous American Bison but with a little twist. The buffalo represents the wildlife encountered by Lewis and Clark during their voyage.

Like the first nickel, the second piece showcased the likeliness of President Jefferson on the obverse, designed by Franki. The reverse side depicted the Pacific Ocean and the words “Ocean in view! O! The Joy!” sourced from William Clark’s journal.

In 2005, the US mint produced over 930 million Buffalo nickel coins and about 3.4 million proofs in three minting centers: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.

The Philadelphia center struck 448,320,000 buffalo nickel pieces with the “P” Mint mark. Because of the high mintage, these coins are readily available on the current coin market.

Today, circulated 2005 Buffalo nickels cost anywhere from $0.05 to $0.50. However, beautiful pieces in an uncirculated state can fetch between $20 and $1000. For instance, a 2005 P Buffalo nickel graded at MS66 sold for an impressive price of $1,255 in 2022. Another specimen graded at MS67 sold for a slightly lower price of $998.75 in 2016.

Besides regular strike coins, the mint struck 1,160,000 buffalo nickels with a satin finish. These coins fetch anywhere from $0.10 to $6, but collectors can pay much more for high-quality pieces. In 2008, one numismatist paid $184 at Heritage Auctions.

2005 D Buffalo Nickel Value

2005 D Buffalo Nickel Value


The mint at Denver recorded a higher mint than the Philadelphia mint in 2005. It minted 487,680,000 buffalo nickels with the “D” mint mark. The same year, the mint also struck a Jefferson Nickel with an ocean view on the reverse.

Weighing only 5g (0.17637 ounces), the 2005-D buffalo nickel comes with a plain, smooth edge and a diameter of 21.2 mm (0.83504).

In terms of design, the nickel features a bust of Thomas Jefferson on the obverse facing right. To the far right, you can see the word “LIBERTY” in president Thomas Jefferson’s handwriting. The motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” and the issue date “2005” fall along the coin’s rim.

The reverse side of the coin brings back the American Bison, which last appeared in the 1938 Buffalo Nickels. As such, the 2005 nickel blends design elements from two popular American coins.

The Bison or Buffalo faces right and is surrounded by the inscription “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the denomination “FIVE CENTS”. Engraver Jamie Franki also moved the Latin phrase “E PLURIBUS UNUM” from the top and positioned it below the animal’s feet.

In 2006, the mint re-instated the depiction of Monticello on the reverse side of the Jefferson nickel, marking the end of the 2005 Buffalo nickel.

Like their sisters from Philadelphia, the 2005-D Jefferson nickels are abundant in circulation. But pieces in MS65 grade or higher are scarce and considered rare. Most 2005-D buffalo nickels were poorly struck, with some featuring large nicks, scratches, and other issues.

In circulated conditions, 2005-D nickels’ value range from $0.05 to $1. But if you have a mint state nickel, expect it to fetch between $5 and $70.

Some specimens can even sell for more. For example, a collector paid $750 for a 2005-D nickel graded at MS66 in 2014. In 2021, another piece sold for $2,650 on eBay.

In addition to regular strike pieces, the mint issued over 1.6 million 2005 buffalo nickels with a satin finish. These units usually cost between $0.05 to $20, depending on the quality.

2005 S Proof Buffalo Nickel Value

2005 S Proof Buffalo Nickel Value

The San Francisco minting facility struck more than 3.4 million proof buffalo nickels in 2005. These coins were minted specifically for investors and coin collectors.

Made from 75% copper and 25% nickel, the proof coins stand out because of their shiny, clean-looking finish and detailed design elements. They also feature an “S” mint mark just below the word “LIBERTY”.

Despite their uniqueness, 2005-proof buffalo nickels are not rare. In average conditions, their value ranges from $0.25 to $15. But well-preserved pieces are worth $546 or more.

2005 Buffalo Nickel Grading

Coin grading is a process of ascertaining a coin’s market value. It usually involves assessing how well a coin was struck and its preservation level.

When collectors or third-party grading services grade a coin, they assign it a value on the Sheldon Scale. The scale ranges from P-1 to MS -70, with P-1 representing Poor Grade and MS-70 standing for Perfect Mint State.

The most commonly used grades for the 2005 buffalo nickel include:

  • Good (G-4): These coins show signs of heavy wear and damage, especially on the lettering and design details.
  • Very Good (VG-8): This grade implies the coin is worn, but still maintains its key design elements.
  • Fine (F-12): Coins considered fine, show signs of wear and damage, but you can see all their design elements. Also, their rims are completely separated from the fields.
  • Extremely Fine (EF-40:Extremely fine 2005 buffalo nickels show little signs of damage on the surface. Their details are also bold and visible, with some evidence of light fading.
  • About Uncirculated (AU-50): Here, the coin is slightly worn on the high points. Some might also have contact marks and scratches, but they are appealing to the eye.
  • Uncirculated (MS60 to MS70): Uncirculated buffalo nickels have their original mint luster and texture. Above MS65, the coins show no signs of contact marks and scratches and have a sharp and attractive strike.

Rare 2005 Buffalo Nickel Error List

The most exhilarating part of coin collection is hunting for error coins. Although error coins are basically minting mistakes, they usually appeal to numismatics and have great value. Below, we have highlighted a few rare errors you could find in 2005 buffalo nickels.

2005 Buffalo Nickel Improperly Annealed Error

2005 Buffalo Nickel Improperly Annealed Error
Image Credit: ebay

To date, nobody can explain the mystery behind the improperly annealed error. However, error collectors speculate it occurs when copper and nickel molecules in the planchet migrate to the surface and form layers during the annealing process.

When the planchet gets exposed to high temperatures and oxygen, the struck coins can develop unusual characteristics, like a reddish hue. The same can happen when the planchet is struck for too long.

While this error is common in 2005 Buffalo nickels, expect to pay around $100 or more for these pieces.

2005 Buffalo Nickel Die Gouge Error

2005 Buffalo Nickel Die Gouge Error

Die gouge refers to an error that occurs when a foreign object from the die face gets drugged on the coin’s surface or penetrates it. This result in pieces with noticeable line or depression on the surface.

In 2005 Buffalo Nickels, this error is known as the spear bison error. It often appears as a straight line entering the bison’s shoulder and exiting near its foreleg, creating the impression of a spear piercing the animal.

The spear bison error is relatively rare and can increase a nickel’s value. Specimens with this unique error usually cost between $30 to $700+, depending on their condition. In 2021, a 2005-D Speared Bison buffalo nickel sold for $2,650 on eBay.

2005 Buffalo Nickel Detached Leg Error

2005 Buffalo Nickel Detached Leg Error

Some 2005 Buffalo nickels also come with a detached leg error. As the name suggests, the error gives the impression that the bison’s leg is severed from its body. The error occurs when a worn die strikes a coin, creating a gap between the animal’s leg and its body.

2005 Buffalo Nickel Clipped Planchet Error

Sometimes the punching mechanism can re-punch or re-struck a planchet, resulting in coins with a clipped or curved edge. Also known as the cookie cutter type error, the clipped planchet error can add significant value to the coin.

2005 Buffalo Nickel Copper Wash Error

2005 Buffalo Nickel Copper Wash Error
Image Credit: coins.ha

The copper wash or plating error is a more dramatic version of the improperly annealed error. Here, the 2005 buffalo nickel coin appears to be covered by a thin reddish copper layer instead of the nickel layer.

2005 Buffalo Nickel FAQ

What makes the 2005 buffalo nickel special?

The 2005 buffalo nickel is a special coin for a number of reasons. First, it commemorates the 200th bicentennial of the Lewis and Clack Expedition. Second, it blends two design elements of US favorite coins: Indian Head Nickel and Jefferson nickel. Last, it embodies the rich American history and culture.

How can you identify a 2005 Speared Bison buffalo nickel?

The best way to determine if you have a 2005 Speared Bison buffalo nickel is to examine the coin’s reverse.  2005 nickels with this error usually have a distinctive straight line that appears to pierce through the bison’s body. This rare die gouge error can add value to your 2005 buffalo nickel.

Should you clean the 2005 buffalo nickel?

Cleaning a 2005 buffalo nickel might seem like an effective way to re-vamp its shiny appearance, but this could reduce the coin’s value and grade. Therefore, you should avoid cleaning your nickel if you want it to fetch a higher price on the market.

How many different 2005 nickels are there?

In 2004 and 2005, the United States mint struck four different designs to honor the bicentennials of the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Louisiana Purchase. The coins became known as the Westward Journey Nickel series.

In 2004, the mint released the “Peace Medal” and “Keelboat” nickel that features Thomas Jefferson on the obverse.  In 2005, the first coin produced by the mint displays Jefferson facing right on the obverse and an American Bison on the reverse. The second coin showcases the Pacific Ocean on the reverse.

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