Two mutants of the zinc finger peptide Xfin-31 (Ac-YKCGLCERSFVEKSALSRHQRVHKN-CONH2) containing alterations to the conserved hydrophobic core have been constructed and their zinc-bound structures investigated by 1H NMR techniques. In the first (Xfin-31B) a double mutation R8F/F10G places the conserved core aromatic residue at position 8 rather than position 10. In the second (Xfin-31C), Phe-10 is replaced by Leu. A qualitative analysis of 1H chemical shifts, NOE connectivities and coupling constants indicates that the global folds of both mutants are similar to that of the wild-type protein. However, amide exchange rates suggest that the F10L mutant is much less stable than either the wild-type or the R8F/F10G mutant.