Hello all! I was given this by my great grandma. I don't know where she got it, but its stayed hidden away somewhere for decades. I thought this nickel looked a bit shiny. I'm not sure if it's mint luster, or proof, or polishing. But I am wondering if there is any way to figure that out. The pictures don't show the luster of the coin, but I was hoping that we could figure out why it's the way it is some other way, like maybe design, or details, or something else. Thank you for all your help! This site has helped me figure out all sorts of questions that would never have been solved if it weren't for you.

On the contrary, it has seen extensive circulation. The first thing I noticed from your first image is that the buffalo's horn is completely worn away. ~ Chris

Definitely not a proof. A proof in this condition would have some evidence of left over mirror finish in the fields. Not just shiny, but flashy proof mirror areas

It's worn from circulation. Not a proof and not polished. Common date but great grandma tucked it away for some reason. Try asking her why if possible.

It might have been a proof at one time (might still actually be 'proof'), but it's surely been in circulation for some time. Still pretty good condition tho...

These aren't the best photos, but they are good enough to show how mirror like the fields surface area is. Even in circulated condition, such as the OP's coin, much of this mirror like finish would be retained. The OP's coin isn't nor never was a proof.