Estimated grade. Sold by Bowers & Ruddy Oct '80 Price realized $175
David Hall: The first year of issue for the extremely popular Buffalo nickel series. the original mintage was huge, 30,992,000 coins. In 1913, there were two types of Buffalo nickels struck. With this, the first type, the Buffalo on the reverse stands on a mound with the words "FIVE CENTS" on the mound below the Buffalo. But the "FIVE CENTS" was high in the design relief and it was quickly noted that the inscription of the denomination wore down very quickly. The Mint then changed the reverse design, keeping the Buffalo on the mound, but sinking the "FIVE CENTS" inscription into a depressed area in the design below a straight line below a much smaller mound. Thus we have 1913 Type 1 and 1913 Type 2 Buffalo nickels.
The 1913 Type 1 Buffalo nickel is by far the most common of the early (pre-1934) Buffalo nickels. Several thousand Gem MS65 and better examples survive. This issue is typically well struck. Luster is usually satiny and good. While this is not a particularly rare coin, it does have two things going for it. It is the first year of issue and it is a one-year-only type coin.