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Value of Jefferson Nickels

Updated on February 18, 2012

Value of Jefferson Nickels:

With the recent addition of the Westward Journey series of 2004 and 2005, and the re-vamped Monticello design of 2006-Present, the nickel has quietly been gaining a lot of interest. There's a good reason behind the hype too! With consistently steady mintage numbers, even the most valuable Jefferson nickels can be collected at very reasonable prices. It's for this reason that Jefferson nickels have long been a favorite of mine. So if you've been stashing away these common members of pocket change, this article is just for you! Covered throughout the context is a brief history and a list of valuable Jefferson Nickels.


Value of Jefferson Nickels. This 1945 D Nickel is valued at $15.
Value of Jefferson Nickels. This 1945 D Nickel is valued at $15.

History of the Jefferson Nickel:

The Jefferson Nickel has a rather unique history full of some minor and major changes.

  • The Jefferson nickel made its first debut for circulation in 1938. The original Jefferson portrait (1938-2004) shown on the obverse was designed by Felix Schlag, who won the honors through an art contest.
  • During the years of 1942-1945, the metal composition was changed to a Silver alloy to conserve the wartime metal Nickel. Besides the change in composition, the wartime nickels featured a large mint mark above the Monticello on the reverse.
  • In 1966, Felix Schlag’s initials JS were added to the obverse below Jefferson’s neck.
  • In celebration of the Louisiana Purchase bicentennial, the US Mint released four new designs in 2004 and 2005 called the Westward Journey Series. The Peace Medal and Keelboat designs were released in 2004 while the American Bison and Ocean in View designs were released in 2005.
  • The Jefferson Nickel received a final new obverse design and traditional Monticello reverse for the 2006-Present minted nickels.


1945 D Jefferson Nickel. Note the large mintmark above the Monticello. This is characteristic only to the Silver Wartime Nickels (1942-1945).
1945 D Jefferson Nickel. Note the large mintmark above the Monticello. This is characteristic only to the Silver Wartime Nickels (1942-1945).

Composition and Melt Values:

1938-1942 & 1946-Present:

  • · Weight – 5.0 Grams
  • · Metal Composition – 75% Copper, 25% Nickel
  • · Melt Value - $.06

1942-1945 Silver Nickels:

  • · Weight – 5.0 Grams
  • · Metal Composition – 56% Copper, 35% Silver, 9% Manganese
  • · Melt Value – Approx. $2.25


Value of Jefferson Nickels:

Much like the Roosevelt Dime collection, there are relatively few valuable key date Jefferson Nickels from regular mintage. On the upside, there can be a lot of value if you happen to come across one of the recognized mint errors. Here’s a list of valuable regular minted key date Jefferson Nickels as well as the valuable Error coins:

When determining the value of your Jefferson Nickel, the Grade(condition) is very important. If you are unfamiliar with the grading scale, here's a guide:

- How Coins are Graded

Key Date Jefferson Nickels:

  • 1939D – Value $1-20
  • 1939S – Value $2-20
  • 1942D – Value $1-40
  • 1950D – Valued at $10-20

Error Jefferson Nickels: The unique twist to the Jefferson collection is the numerous amount of known errors. Because these were produced and released with normal minted coinage, you’ll never know when one of these errors will turn up!

*** Special release uncirculated Jefferson Nickels were released and sold in commemoratory sets in 1994 and 1997. These coins were struck with high relief dies to make them resemble proof coins, but they were minted at the Philadelphia Mint. Nickels from the 1994 set are valued around $100 in MS-65, while the 1997 special release nickels are valued around $275 in MS-65.

  • · 1939 Doubled MONTICELLO & FIVE CENTS – Approximate Value $20-600
  • · 1942D D mintmark over horizontal D – Approximate Value $25-900
  • · 1943 Three over Two Error in date – Approximate Value $15-550
  • · 1943 Doubled Eye error – Approximate Value $10-350
  • · 1945 Double Die Reverse – Approximate Value $10-250
  • · 1949D D mintmark over S mintmark – Approximate Value Up to $350
  • · 1954S S mintmark over D mintmark – Approximate Value Up to $100
  • · 1955D D mintmark over S mintmark – Approximate Value Up to $100


So there you have it coin collectors and value seekers! You may be disappointed to find out you’re not sitting on a Jefferson Nickel goldmine, but don’t turn up your nose. With the influx of collectors seeking to create the perfect nickel set, the value of Jefferson Nickels is bound to jump over time!


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    • Joe Macho profile imageAUTHOR


      21 months ago from Colorado

      Thanks James!

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      Good article!!

    • profile image


      24 months ago

      I have a 1940 d nickel 1963 D penny 1968 S Penny a Morgan silver dollar s 1885 1964 dime can anybody tell me anything about them and I have a lot more

    • profile image

      3 years ago

      I have a 1945 Nickle,with scare on forehead.visible steps on back.clean.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Sorry for the air but it will have a large P, D or a Small above Monticello between years of 1942 and 1945. 35% silver

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Yes if you have a nickel with a large D above it between 1943 and 45 it has 35% silver in it and is worth $0.60 today.

    • profile image

      i have a 1943 nickel that has a big D above Monticello 

      5 years ago

      I have a 1943 nickel with a big D above the monticello is it worth anything?


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