As part of a drive to increase the beauty of American coinage, the Buffalo nickel was introduced in 1913; the Buffalo (more properly, the Indian) nickel by James E. Fraser, a well-known sculptor. The obverse portrait was modeled from life by studying three Indian models, while the reverse was styled from a bison, popularly called a buffalo,at the Bronx Zoo.
The obverse depicts the head of an Indian facing right, with LIBERTY in small letters at the upper right edge, and the date at the lower left. The reverse shows a bison standing on a raised mound, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and E PLURIBUS UNUM above, and FIVE CENTS on a mound below.
Buffalo Five Cents 1913-1938:
Designer: James Earle Fraser
Composition: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Weight: 5.00 g
Diameter: 21.20 mm
Two different design variations
Type 1, "FIVE CENTS" On Raised Ground (1913)
Type 2, "FIVE CENTS" In Recess (1913-1938)