The Philadelphia Mint struck proof versions of the Buffalo Nickel for only six years of the series. Collectively, there were only 16,148 Proof Buffalo Nickels (Buy on eBay) issued compared to more than 1.2 billion circulation strikes. The Proofs were struck during two separate periods at the beginning and near the end of the series.
Proof Buffalo Nickels were first issued from 1913 to 1916. The first year would include both the Type 1 and Type 2 varieties, with the buffalo standing on a raised mound or flat ground. The Proof coins of this period carry Matte Proof surfaces, often toned to a natural gray-blue-pink color. Most are well-struck and pieces are always in demand.
After a long hiatus, Proof coins were next produced for the years 1936 and 1937. For the first year, the Proofs can be found with either matte or brilliant surfaces, while for the second year the Proofs were only struck with brilliant surfaces. These coins were struck in larger numbers, but remain popular with collectors as the first two years of the modern Proof Set era. The coins were originally issued as part of the 1936 Proof Set, 1937 Proof Set, or offered individually at 20 cents each.