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Do you have any 1954 nickels? They’re worth hanging onto!
All 1954 Jefferson nickels are worth more than face value, and some are worth way more than five cents. (In a moment, I’ll show you how much your 1954 nickels are worth.)
Old nickels are often rare and valuable — and one of the best things about the 1954 nickel is that it can be found in your pocket change!
Also, there is a particularly valuable 1954 error nickel that is worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars in top condition.
- I’m going to tell you exactly the markings you should be looking for on 1954 nickels if you want to find the most valuable ones!
- I’m going to provide you with a list of 1954 nickel errors that you will have the best chance of finding in spare change.
- You’ll see how much your 1954 nickel is worth.
Current 1954 Nickel Values
Jefferson nickels from 1954 were struck at 3 different U.S. Mint locations, resulting in 3 types:
- 1954 nickels with no mint mark (from the Philadelphia Mint)
- 1954 nickels with a “D” mintmark (from the Denver Mint)
- 1954 nickels with an “S” mint mark (from the San Francisco Mint)
Following are the current values for each type of 1954 nickel…
1954 No Mintmark Nickel Value
Contrary to popular belief that the Philadelphia Mint always makes more coins than the branch mints, Philly did not strike the most 1954 nickels. That honor goes to the Denver Mint’s 1954-D nickel.
The Philadelphia Mint produced 47,684,050 nickels in 1954 — and these coins do not have any mintmark, nor were they supposed to.
The 1954 nickel values range from 10 to 15 cents for circulated specimens to around $1 to $2 for uncirculated pieces.
1954-D Nickel Value
The most common 1954 Jefferson nickel, as far as mintage is concerned, is the 1954-D nickel from the Denver Mint.
Bearing its little “D” mintmark on the reverse (tails side) of the coin just to the right of Monticello by the rim, the 1954-D Jefferson nickel saw a mintage of 117,183,060 pieces.
The 1954-D nickel is worth 7 to 10 cents in worn condition, while most uncirculated specimens are worth about 50 cents to $1.25 apiece.
A few 1954-D nickels exist in superb Gem Uncirculated condition with Full Steps details, and these are among the ones that worth the most money. The record price for a 1954-D Jefferson nickel is $9,693.75 — the amount paid in a 2020 auction for a specimen graded by PCGS as MS66+ Full Steps.
1954-S Nickel Value
The 1954-S nickel from the San Francisco Mint has the lowest mintage of the three types of circulating 1954 Jefferson nickels. Only 29,384,000 were minted — and while that isn’t necessarily rare, it’s noticeably fewer specimens than were struck at the Philly and Denver mints.
A circulated 1954-S Jefferson nickel is worth 20 to 50 cents in worn condition, while average uncirculated specimens have a value of $1.25 to $2.50.
The all-time record price for a 1954-S nickel is $35,250 for a specimen graded by PCGS as MS67 Full Steps.
1954 Proof Nickel Value
In 1954, the United States Mint in Philadelphia struck a limited supply of Jefferson nickels for coin collectors. These proof Jefferson nickels were struck on polished coin blanks by specially prepared coin dies. They were struck extremely well — showing all major and minute design details. Also, many have highly reflective (almost mirrorlike) finishes.
While only 233,300 were made and none were released by the U.S. Mint into circulation, you can buy 1954 proof Jefferson nickels for your coin collection from a coin dealer. These old proof 1954 nickels are worth around $20.
The record price for a 1954 proof Jefferson nickel is $7,475, which was paid in 2007 for a PCGS-graded PR68 Jefferson nickel with Deep Cameo frosting.
1954 Nickel Errors (And Their Current Values)
There are 4 unique errors on 1954 nickels that are quite rare, yet relatively easier to find than other types of 1954 nickel errors. They are:
1954-S S Over D Nickel Error
One of the most significant Jefferson nickel errors involves an unusual overmintmark variety in which the “S” mintmark representing San Francisco was punched over the “D” symbolizing the Denver Mint.
How could something like that possibly happen?
In the mid-1950s, U.S. Mint coiners were still punching mintmarks onto individual coin dies by hand. And at that time, the dies designated for branch mints (any mint outside of Philadelphia) were produced in Philly. There are two likely scenarios behind how the 1954-S S Over D was produced.
- Either a die that was originally destined for the San Francisco Mint was accidentally punched with the “D” mintmark and, upon realizing the mistake, the worker overpunched that “D” with the proper “S” mintmark.
- Or the die was originally intended for the Denver Mint but was reassigned to the San Francisco Mint — in which case the “D” was overpunched with the “S” mint mark.
At any rate, this unique variety resulted — and it’s one worth looking for!
While there is no known mintage figure for the 1954-S S Over D nickel, numismatic experts believe that perhaps fewer than 200,000 exist, making it a relatively scarce variety.
Well-worn examples are worth $5 to $10 apiece, while uncirculated pieces generally trade for $20 and up. The record price for a 1954-S S Over D nickel is $3,450 for a specimen graded by PCGS as MS66. (Note that piece was not graded with the coveted Full Steps designation. At the time of this writing, no examples are known with Full Steps details.)
1954 Doubled Die Nickel Error
While there are no major 1954 nickel doubled dies known at this time, minor doubled dies have turned up on 1954 nickels.
These can often be attributed (or even new ones discovered) by looking at places on the Jefferson nickel where hub doubling, on the rare occasion when it’s present, is usually found. These locations typically include:
- Jefferson’s eye on the obverse (heads side)
- “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “LIBERTY,” or the date on the obverse
- The inscription “MONTICELLO” and/or “FIVE CENTS” on the reverse
- “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and/or “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” on the reverse
Minor doubled dies on 1954 nickels vary in value (depending on the specific variety and intensity of doubling) — anywhere between $20 to $50.
Off-Center 1954 Nickel Error
When the dies aren’t properly aligned on the presses or a blank coin isn’t sitting perfectly square within its collar, an off-center coin may result.
The magnitude of the off-center error can vary from being just a few percent off center to 50% or more — which impacts the coin’s value.
A 1954 nickel that is 3% to 5% off-center may be worth $5 or $10. One that is 50% off-center and also shows a complete date and, if applicable, mintmark, can bring well over $100.
Die Breaks On 1954 Nickels
As dies wear out, they sometimes begin exhibiting extreme signs of deterioration. This wear and tear occasionally shows up by way of cracks across the surface of the die — which transfer onto the struck coin as raised lines and bumps.
As with so many errors and varieties, coins with die cracks will vary in value depending on the size, location, position, and overall magnitude of the die crack. Minor die cracks in an inconspicuous place on a coin might be worth $3 to $5. But major die cracks in obvious locations can be worth a whole lot more!
One of the most valuable types of die breaks is known as a die cud — which takes the form of a raised, flattish chunk of blank metal attached to the rim of the coin. Large die cuds on a 1954 nickel can be worth $150 or more.
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I’m also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I’ve contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I’ve authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!