How Much Are Jefferson Nickels & War Nickels Worth?

US_Nickel_Reverse_public_domain.jpgNow that I’ve covered the Westward Journey nickels, I might as well cover the rest of the nickels.

Let’s start with the more common Jefferson design.

These are all the nickels that you find in your everyday change.

 

More About Jefferson Nickels

First off, nickels are made of .750 copper and .250 nickel — with the exception of war nickels, which I will get to in a minute.

The Jefferson nickel was designed by Felix Schlag, who won a $1,000 award for it in a competition of among nearly 400 artists. This coin — that’s still our current currency today — started production way back in 1938.

So, if you’ve got an old nickel from the 40’s or 50’s, and you’re wondering what it’s worth… Well, it’s worth about a nickel!

Since the coin began production, there have been millions of them made about every year. Therefore, they are commonly found everywhere.

There are some exceptions such as war nickels and a few types of errors.

 

About Those War Nickels…

War nickels are Jefferson nickels that were made during the years of the war (1942-1945).

During this time, they needed to conserve nickel for the war, so they substituted it with silver.

These coins containing silver are naturally going to be worth more than 5 cents, due to their metal content.

They look almost identical to the other years of production, except that for these 4 years they put the mintmark in larger lettering on the reverse side of the coin — above the monticello building.

This was also the first year that Philidelphia, the oldest U.S. mint, had ever used a mintmark.

War_Nickle_public_domain.jpg

Here are more pictures of Jefferson war nickels.

 

How Much Are These Nickels Worth?

I am just going to list the few Jefferson nickels that are worth noting. If it’s not listed here, then you can assume that it’s worth 5 cents.

War Nickels:
1945 S – $.80-$1.00
1945 D – $.80-$1.00
1945 P – $.80-$1.00
1945 P Double Die Reverse – $20.00-$30.00
1944 S – $.80-$1.00
1944 D – $.80-$1.00
1944 P – $.80-$1.00
1943 S – $.80-$1.00
1943 D – $.80-$1.00
1943 P – $.80-$1.00
1943 P Doubled Eye $30.00-$50.00
1943 P 3/2 – $50.00-$100.00 (3 was re-punched over a 2)
1942 S – $.80-$1.00
1942 P – $.80-$1.00

 

That’s all of the war nickels.Now, here are the other few Jefferson nickels that are worth noting:

1942 D Over Horizontal D – $50.00-$75.00
1939 D – $10.00-$12.00
1939 Doubled MONTICELLO – $70.00-$85.00
1938 S – $2.50

Jefferson Nickels 1938 – Present

 

Are Nickels Worth Collecting?

If you’re going to collect nickels, this is a set that you can put together or buy complete from a dealer pretty cheap. Like I said, most of them will just come from your pocket change.

That is, unless you’re putting together a high grade set. If you’re going to collect any of the nickel sets from here on back such as buffalo, Liberty head, and shield nickels, then you’re going to pay quite a bit more money for them. But that is an article for another time…

 

UPDATE: 2010 Values

Jefferson Wartime nickels, which contain some silver, certainly are popular! Because of their silver content, the value of Wartime nickels fluctuates with the changing silver prices.

Right now, silver Wartime Jefferson nickels are worth around $1 to $2 if in average circulated grades.

Uncirculated Wartime Jefferson nickels command $5 and up in most cases.

Be sure to keep posted as the value of these coins keeps changing.

Jay

I have been collecting and trading coins for years. Coin collecting is a hobby for me, and I've done a lot of research about coins through the years.

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  • Michelle

    i actually have a question i have a nickle thats 1943, but the back side is upside down its an error whats the worth of that ?????

  • Craig Chambers

    I have two war nickels without mint marks. One is a 1944 and the other is a 1945. I tried to find out about them, and one article mentioned the 1944 as a counterfeit, but not the 1945. Do you know anything about these? Thanks!

    • Anonymous

      Hi, Craig —

      Francis Henning infamously made thousands of counterfeit coins, including 1944 nickels without the mintmark over Monticello. I found an article for you that briefly describes the story about him and some of the coins he counterfeited: http://www.numismaticenquirer.com/TNE/Henning%20Counterfeit%20Nickel.html

      There’s no mention in the article, however, of a 1945 Jefferson nickel without the mintmark ovr Monticello, nor have I myself ever heard of such a piece.

    • Anonymous

      Hi, Craig —

      Francis Henning infamously made thousands of counterfeit coins, including 1944 nickels without the mintmark over Monticello. I found an article for you that briefly describes the story about him and some of the coins he counterfeited: http://www.numismaticenquirer.com/TNE/Henning%20Counterfeit%20Nickel.html

      There’s no mention in the article, however, of a 1945 Jefferson nickel without the mintmark ovr Monticello, nor have I myself ever heard of such a piece.

  • Craig Chambers

    I have two war nickels without mint marks. One is a 1944 and the other is a 1945. I tried to find out about them, and one article mentioned the 1944 as a counterfeit, but not the 1945. Do you know anything about these? Thanks!

  • Thomdrew2001

    if it is 2 eyed and 1943 war nickel $30 to $50 

  • Mwkeeler

    Thanks for the explanation on war nickels. l have a 9 year old son who is hooked on these nickels.  I plan on getting several rolls.  We want them for the silver value.

  • Ohiodank2u

    what about a 1942p thats not silver

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Ohio,

      A regular 1942 Jefferson nickel is worth around 15 cents.

  • bucks girl

    I have recently come across a set of coins my mother had..it is in an 8X10 frame with a title WARTIME COINAGE…it includes 9 pennies- 1944-S,D,P..1943-p,D,S..1945-P,D,S….11 nickels- 1942-P,S..1943-P,D,S..1944-P,D,S..1945 P,D,S…any idea of what they could be worth??

  • jdubs22

    I received a 1943 P Double Eye at work today, I new the second I saw it that is was a war mint by the prominent P on it. When I got home and inspected it I found the double eye. Very stoked! Its circulated in good condition. The lady must of found it in her dads coin collection and didnt think it was anything.

  • coinrat

    I am a veteran collector almost 40 yrs now. I still love the Jefferson Nickel as it is the one true american coin that can be collected just out of pocket change. I have completed and sold over the years 2 complete roll sets from 1938-1964. (no 1950-d roll) all coins having come from circulation. In recent years I have found that the coins are still out there just not as many, but you can still put together a complete set from circulation, including the war nickels. The only coins you will probably not find is the 1950-D. Recently a new rarity has come on the market. The 2009-P (extremely hard to find (so far have searched over $2000.00 worth of nickels and found none. The 2009-D (Is also hard to find in the same number only 3 have been found) all other dates I was able to complete in full rolls from 1965-2012. So you can still have fun as a novest or a veteran collector with Jefferson Nickels. Enjoy.

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

      Great point, Coinrat –

      Jefferson nickels still lend a lot of opportunities in terms of circulation finds, especially for those who enjoy coin roll searching.

      Thanks for sharing your insight and knowledge with the rest of us.

    • Lex Luger

      There are war nickels out there, but they are extremely rare. I’ve been a clerk for almost a year and I have looked through thousands of dollars worth of nickels, but I’ve only found two war nickels, both 1943-P. They were in two back to back rolls, which was strange. I’ve found 1 buffalo nickel and 1 V nickel since I’ve worked there.

      • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

        Lex, those are all really great finds! I have checked a multitude of Jefferson nickels over my 20+ years in the hobby and have only found 2 wartime nickels (1943-P, too!) and one Buffalo nickel in change while working at a cash register. Great work!

        • Lex Luger

          I’ve since found another war nickel and two more buffalo nickels.

          • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide

            Wow, great finds, Lex!