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Most Valuable Nickels: A List Of Silver Nickels, Buffalo Nickels & Old Nickels Worth Holding Onto!

A List Of Valuable U.S. Nickels Worth Money

Your chances of finding valuable nickels in everyday pocket change are pretty good — much like your odds of finding valuable pennies.

Valuable Nickels Worth Money - See which Silver nickels, Buffalo nickels & Jefferson nickels you should be saving (not spending).

So, what are your old nickels worth?

Following are all of the U.S. nickels you should be holding onto. The nickels listed below are worth at least 2x face value… all the way up to $60 apiece!

In this article you will learn:

  • Which valuable nickels are easiest to find in spare change
  • All the places you should be looking for valuable nickels
  • How to identify silver nickels worth money
  • The 3 types of old nickels you should be saving
  • Which Jefferson nickels are worth the most money

Valuable Old Nickels Are Easy To Find

Of all the denominations in circulation, nickels provide you with the best chances of finding old and valuable coins in your pocket change.

Why is that?

The Jefferson nickel has been in circulation since 1938, and it remained mostly unchanged until 2004. That’s when the Westward Journey nickels honoring the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition were released, bringing new obverse and reverse designs to the 5-cent coin.

Unlike Lincoln wheat pennies (which almost everyone knows about and saves from circulation), there are many old Jefferson nickels made in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s that are still in circulation simply because they look much like the newer Jefferson nickels.

Even silver wartime Jefferson “nickels” look nearly identical to regular nickels — except for one distinguishing mark that I’ll tell you about in a minute.

My Favorite Way To Find Valuable Nickels

There’s a technique I normally use when I’m looking for old nickels, and it’s called coin roll searching.

Basically, instead of relying only on spare change to look for old coins, I like to go to the local bank or nearby grocery store and ask for rolls of coins.

This puts me at an advantage — because I’ll get to look through a larger quantity of coins from a certain denomination than I might normally get to see at any one time.

If I get lucky and find any coins that I wish to keep, I can just swap those out with common pieces, and trade the roll back in for more coins to search through!

It’s really that simple. As you can see in this video:

How To Tell Silver Nickels From Regular Nickels

Pictured on the left is a regular Jefferson nickel. On the right is a silver nickel. Notice the large "P" mintmark over Monticello on the silver wartime nickel?

It’s really simple to tell a silver Jefferson nickel from a regular Jefferson nickel.

Silver nickels were made from 1942 through 1945 and have a large mintmark over the dome of Monticello on the reverse.

There are 3 mintmarks to look for on silver nickels:

  • “P” – Philadelphia
  • “D” – Denver
  • “S” – San Francisco

For the record, the 1942 wartime nickel was the first U.S. coin on which a “P” mintmark was ever placed.

Not all 1942 nickels have the large mintmarks over Monticello, though.

For most of 1942, the 5-cent coin was made from nickel. However, in October of 1942 this changed — because nickel was needed to make artillery for troops in World War II.

Also worth noting… silver nickels aren’t made entirely from silver. In fact, the wartime nickel alloy consists of the following:

  • 56% copper
  • 35% silver
  • 9% manganese

How much are silver nickels worth? I’ve got the answer to that below!

Which Old Nickels Are Worth The Most Money?

So, I know this is the part you’ve probably been waiting for — what are your old nickels worth?

Below is a list of the specific nickels you should be looking for. All are worth 10 cents or more each. Some have a value of $1 or more, and a few are even worth more than $10.

These old coins are out there in circulation, and I know this because I’ve found many of them myself in pocket change and in rolls of coins that I’ve looked through over the years.

Good luck!

These are the 3 types of nickels you should be saving:

  1. Liberty Head nickels – they’re worth $2 and up
  2. Buffalo nickels – while dateless Buffalo nickels are worth 20 cents or more each, those with dates are worth $1 and up
  3. Jefferson nickels made before 1960 – old Jefferson nickels made in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s have a value of 10 cents or more (except for the ones listed below, which have much higher values… especially those 1942-1945 silver nickels!)

Jefferson Nickels Worth More Than 10 Cents Each

All of the Jefferson nickel values listed below are for coins in average circulated condition. (Higher-grade pieces are worth more. Cleaned and damaged nickels are worth less.)

  • 1938 nickel (no mintmark) – 50 cents
  • 1938-D nickel – $1
  • 1938-S nickel – $1.50
  • 1939-S nickel – 50 cents
  • 1942-D over horizontal D nickel – $1
  • 1942-P nickel – $2
  • 1942-S nickel – $2
  • 1943-P nickel – $2
  • 1943/2-P nickel – $50
  • 1943-P Doubled Eye nickel – $25
  • 1943-D nickel – $2
  • 1943-S nickel – $2
  • 1944-P nickel – $2
  • 1944-D nickel – $2
  • 1944-S nickel – $2
  • 1945-P nickel – $2
  • 1945-P Doubled Die Reverse nickel – $20
  • 1945-D nickel – $2
  • 1945-S nickel – $2
  • 1949-D/S nickel – $60
  • 1949-S nickel – 30 cents
  • 1950 nickel (no mintmark) – 50 cents
  • 1950-D nickel – $10
  • 1951 nickel (no mintmark) – 25 cents
  • 1951-D nickel – 25 cents
  • 1951-S nickel – 50 cents
  • 1952-D nickel – 20 cents
  • 1955 nickel (no mintmark) – 25 cents
  • 1955 D/S nickel – $20
  • 1958 nickel (no mintmark) – 20 cents

More Info About Valuable Nickels

In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some other resources to help you find the most valuable U.S. nickels in circulation and in collections:

Next Up:  Most Valuable Dimes – A List Of Silver Dimes & Other Dimes You Should Keep!