1992 Nickel Value: Full Steps, Errors & How Much Yours Could Be Worth

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By Joshua

I recently came across a shiny 1992 nickel — it looked almost like it was just minted.

It caught my eye because the coin was more than 30 years old when I found it in my pocket change, and I hadn’t seen a 1992 nickel that looked to be in mint condition in circulation in a very long time!

Of course, I wanted to know how much my nearly perfect 1992 nickel might be worth. Was it worth more than face value? I know one 1992 nickel has sold for more than $3,500… Did I have one like it?

As a coin collector since (coincidentally) 1992, I know that most nickels from that period are worth only face value if they come from pocket change and show signs of wear.

What about this new-looking nickel I found from 1992 though?

Upon Closer Inspection…

I noticed that my nearly perfect 1992 nickel does have some light touches of wear and rub on the high points of the design, meaning this coin wouldn’t grade “uncirculated.”

Therefore, since worn 1992 nickels are worth only their face value, my fun nickel find was good for just 5 cents — even though it does have a lot of mint luster around the lettering and such.

This probably leads you to wonder, “What would it take for a 1992 nickel to be worth thousands of dollars?”

Well, my nickel certainly didn’t have the makings of a four-figure coin. But there really are some rare and valuable 1992 nickels worth money just waiting to be found!

Let’s talk more about what you need to look for on your 1992 nickels…

The Importance Of “Full Steps” On 1992 Nickels

Usually, the most valuable type of Jefferson nickel displays “Full Steps on the design.

What are “Full Steps”? And on what part of the design will you find them?

Alrighty… take out your nickel. You see the portrait of President Thomas Jefferson on the obverse (head’s side)? Flip that nickel over to the reverse (tail’s side). You see that building with the dome on top? That’s Jefferson’s Virginia home, Monticello.

By the way, I got to see Monticello in person once… It’s well worth the visit!

Now look at the bottom of the Monticello building. You should see some steps running up the lower center of the front. Those steps aren’t usually struck very well during the coin making process –and that’s one of the details that coin collectors look for when determining how much their Jefferson nickels are worth.

Naturally a lot of people who hear about “Full Steps” nickels being worth a lot of money will start looking for this detail on all the Jefferson nickels they find in pocket change. But here’s the catch: you can only find Full Steps details on uncirculated Jefferson nickels — ones that show no wear and weren’t spent as money.

What constitutes a Full Steps Jefferson nickel then?

The nickel must be uncirculated and it needs to show 5 or 6 completely defined steps at the base of Monticello. There can be no breaks in detail — such as nicks, scratches, or other detractions that weaken the appearance of the fully struck steps.

It’s relatively hard to find uncirculated Jefferson nickels that fit the criteria of a Full Steps nickel. And that’s why these types of Jefferson nickels are usually regarded as rare and valuable.

Find Out The Grade Of Your 1992 Nickel

In order to determine the true value of your 1992 Jefferson nickel, you first need to know what condition (or grade) your own coin is in. 

Grab a coin magnifier and a copy of the U.S. Coin Grading Standards book. Then, watch this video to see how to grade coins yourself at home:

Think you may have a valuable 1992 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.

All 1992 Nickel Values Today

1992-P and 1992-D Nickel Values

First, let’s start with 1992-P nickels and 1992-D nickels from the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, respectively.

The Philly Mint struck 399,552,000 nickels in 1992, while Denver pumped out 450,565,113. Big numbers like those mean 1992 nickels are categorically pretty common.

That means any circulated (worn) 1992 nickels that you find in pocket change are going to be worth their face value of 5 cents.

However, uncirculated examples are getting scarcer these days. As a result, they’re generally worth 20 to 50 cents each.

1992-S Nickel Values

Next, let’s talk about 1992-S nickels

The San Francisco Mint produced a total of 4,176,560 of the 1992-S proof nickels only for collectors.

These highly collectible 1992 nickels are worth $2 to $5 apiece.

I know, I know… These still aren’t the big cash-money 1992 nickel values I mentioned earlier. Hang in there!

1992 Full Steps Nickel Values

The real money comes from finding Full Steps nickels, that I described above.

Values for Full Steps 1992 nickels are all over the board — because they depend on both the grade of the individual coin and the date-and-mintmark combination of the coin. Many of the 1992 Full Steps nickels sell for hundreds of dollars apiece!

The most valuable 1992-P nickel was graded Mint State-67 Full Steps by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $1,725 in a 2010 auction.

The most valuable 1992-D nickel, which was also graded by Professional Coin Grading Service with a grade of Mint State-67 Full Steps, sold for $3,760 in a 2016 auction.

1992 Error Nickel Values

Let’s not forget about 1992 Jefferson nickel error values! Some of these oddities are worth some real coin…

A 1992-P nickel with a big die break sold for $26 at a 2021 auction. (Here’s more about die breaks and die cracks.)

Then there is a 1992-D nickel off-center strike that sold for $99 in a 2022 auction. (Here’s how to look for off-center errors.)

But the most valuable 1992 error nickel that I think really takes the cake is a double-denomination coin. In 2011, it hammered for a stunning $1,265!

Remember… if you have any questions, you can always drop a line here in the comments below.