Expert Comments

David Hall

The 1926-S is rare in lower circulated grades and very rare in circulated grades of VF20 or better. It is really rare in mint state condition and in Gem MS65 it is the rarest non-variety Buffalo nickel and as such it is one of the most important rarities of 20th Century numismatics. I have never seen or heard of a specimen grading above MS65. Strike can be somewhat of a problem with this issue, but not as much so as with the 1920-S, 1923-S and 1925-S. It's not the strike, it's the fact that not many Gem examples exist at all. Luster is of the subdued semi-satiny type. Excluding the 1918/7-D overdate, this issue is THE key date to the Buffalo nickel series.


21.20 millimeters
James Earle Fraser
5.00 grams
Metal Content
75% Copper, 25% Nickel
The United States of America
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Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

65 or Better 11000 R-2.9 43 / 69 TIE 44 / 72 TIE
All Grades 500 R-6.0 6 / 69 TIE 6 / 72 TIE
60 or Better 20 R-9.1 4 / 69 4 / 72

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS65+ PCGS grade MS65+ PCGS grade
1 MS65+ PCGS grade MS65+ PCGS grade

Heritage 10/2011:3409, $115,000 - Legend Rare Coin Auctions 1/2017:131, not sold

1 MS65+ PCGS grade MS65+ PCGS grade

Rafferty Collection - Heritage 1/2018:4790, $99,000

4 MS65 PCGS grade MS65 PCGS grade

Heritage 10/2012:3503, $79,312 - Heritage 4/2013:4162, $76,375

4 MS65 PCGS grade MS65 PCGS grade

Bowers & Merena 4/2008:218, $322,000 - Heritage 9/2013:6286, $105,750 - Heritage 1/2014:5168, $94,000