See Which 1991 Nickels Are Worth More Than Face Value Today

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By Joshua

1991 Coin Value Guide

The 1991 nickel has certainly seen its value increase over the years.

Some 1991 nickels are worth more than $1,000! Find out how much your 1991 Jefferson nickels are worth today.

While most 1991 nickels are still worth just a nickel, some are worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

I’m a longtime coin collector and can tell the most valuable 1991 Jefferson nickels apart from those that are safe to spend at their face value.

I’m going to show you which 1991 nickels are worth the most money and should be saved.

In this article you will learn:

  • Which 1991 U.S. nickels are rare and valuable
  • What the different mintmarks on 1991 nickels mean
  • If there are any 1991 silver nickels
  • How much all types of 1991 Jefferson nickels are worth today

Is There Anything Special With The Design On A 1991 Nickel?

Not particularly… The 1991 U.S. nickel design is virtually unchanged from that of most nickels made since 1938, when Felix Schlag originally designed the Jefferson nickel.

On the obverse, or head’s side, is a portrait of President Thomas Jefferson. The reverse, or tail’s side, features Monticello, which is the stately Virginia residence that Jefferson built and called home for many years.

Are 1991 Silver Nickels Worth Looking For?

Many people have heard of silver war nickels, which were made by the United States Mint from 1942 through 1945 during World War II to help ration nickel — an important metal for making artillery.

But did the U.S. Mint make any 1991 silver nickels?

Unfortunately, there are no 1991 silver nickels out there. The U.S. Mint didn’t strike any.

What Do The Mintmarks On 1991 Nickels Mean?

Notice the little letter underneath the date on this 1991 nickel? That's the mintmark. In this case, the "P" indicates the coin was made at the Philadelphia Mint.

Look on the obverse (head’s side) of your 1991 nickel and you should find a little mint letter stamp under the date. This little letter is known as a mintmark, and it tells you which mint struck the coin.

You’ll find one of these 3 mintmarks on 1991 nickels:

  • P = Philadelphia Mint
  • D = Denver Mint
  • S = San Francisco Mint

Naturally, you’re probably wondering if the mintmark adds value to your 1991 nickel. The answer? It depends…

The two mintmarks you’re most likely to find on a 1991 nickel are the “P” and “D” mintmarks. Why these? Because the Philadelphia and Denver Mints struck all 1991 nickels that were intended for circulation.

That leaves the “S” mintmark from San Francisco, which you most likely won’t see on any 1991 nickels that turn up in your pocket change or spare change coin jars.

You see, the 1991-S nickels were all specially made as collector coins and sold in proof sets. While some of these 1991-S nickels have been broken out of their plastic cases and spent as money over the years, the majority of them remain safely tucked away in proof sets.

If you want to acquire a 1991-S nickel, you can buy one for a couple dollars from a coin dealer.

Are 1991 Nickels Rare?

If I were to categorize the 1991 nickel as rare or common, I’d have to say it’s a common coin.

The numbers bear this out…

The Philadelphia Mint struck 614,104,000 of the 1991 nickels, while the Denver Mint churned out another 436,496,678. If we do the math, we find that adds up to 1,050,600,678 — more than a billion nickels. And that’s not even counting the 2,867,787 proofs struck by the San Francisco Mint!

Of course, big numbers like those don’t explain why some 1991 nickels have sold for big numbers on the auction floor.

The answer is really quite simple. While 1991 nickels are common as a whole, there truly are some rare and valuable 1991 nickels out there — based on either their superior condition or the presence of mint-made oddities.

Let’s talk about those rare nickels, how much they’re worth, and what features you should be looking for on 1991 nickels…

How Much Is A 1991 Nickel Worth Today?

The vast majority of all 1991 nickels you’ll ever find in circulation (pocket change, coin jars, piggy banks, and the like) are going to be regular, worn coins that are only worth their face value of 5 cents.

But don’t despair! There really are plenty of 1991 nickels worth more than face value…

The ones you’re most likely to find will look like they just left the mint yesterday and contain no wear whatsoever. Uncirculated 1991 nickels are typically worth 20 to 50 cents apiece.

Proof 1991-S nickels that have been kept in pristine, virtually untouched condition (just as they were sold inside of their proof sets) are generally worth $2 to $5 apiece.

Another kind of 1991 Jefferson nickel worth looking for is the kind that shows 5 or 6 complete, unbroken steps at the base of the Monticello building on the reverse (tail’s side). These so-called Full Steps nickels are among the rarest and most valuable kind of 1991 nickel! But here’s the thing: only uncirculated Jefferson nickels can have the Full Steps details. Even the seemingly “perfect” 1991 nickels that you might have found in your pocket change can’t possibly be a Full Steps nickel if the coin has the presence of any wear on it.

This video shows why knowing how to grade your coins is so important…

Remember, in order to determine the real value of your 1991 Jefferson nickel, you first need to know what condition — or grade — your coin is in. (A coin magnifier and a copy of the U.S. Coin Grading Standards book will become two of your most-used tools for determining coin values.)

Rare 1991 Nickel Errors… And Their Values

Most 1991 nickels that seem like they have errors or varieties really just have some kind of post-mint damage — which does not add any value to the coin whatsoever.

Among true 1991 nickel errors, the ones you’re most likely to encounter are minor off-center strikes or broadstrikes. Those types of errors on 1991 nickels are worth around $10 to $30.

I know, I know… That’s probably not the big-time cash money you’re looking for.

So what are some of the really valuable 1991 nickel errors?

Here are a few examples:

  • One 1991-P nickel struck on a Lincoln penny and known as a double-denomination error sold for $1,080 in a 2023 Heritage Auctions sale.
  • Another similar piece in a slightly lower grade took $432 in a 2019 Heritage Auctions event.
  • The most valuable non-error 1991 nickel sold to date goes to a 1991-P nickel graded Mint State-67 Full Steps. That 1991 Jefferson nickel fetched $949.99 in a 2022 eBay auction.

The lesson here is to keep your eyes peeled for 1991 nickels that are in really good condition and to look for any unusual features on 1991 nickels as well.

Think you may have a valuable 1991 nickel and want to find out what it’s worth? Post a comment below with a clear photo or two of your coin and I’ll do my best to help you find out more about it.