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

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

So, what are your old nickels worth?

Old nickel prices range from a few cents above face value to $50 or more.

Here’s a list of the nickels you should be looking for.


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’s 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 just a bit.


How To Find Old 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’ll 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.

It’s really that simple!


How To Tell Silver Wartime Nickels From Regular Nickels

It’s really simple to tell a silver wartime nickel from a regular 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 wartime 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. In fact, for most of 1942, the 5-cent coin was made from nickel. In October, this changed, since 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 wartime nickels worth? I’ve got the answer to that below!


Old Nickels 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 – prices for these vary; dateless Buffalo nickels are worth 20 cents or more each, and 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


Old Jefferson Nickels Worth More Than 10 Cents Each

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

  • 1938 – 50 cents
  • 1938-D – $1
  • 1938-S – $1.50
  • 1939-S – 50 cents
  • 1942-D over horizontal D – $1
  • 1942-P – $2
  • 1942-S – $2
  • 1943-P – $2
  • 1943/2-P – $35
  • 1943-D – $2
  • 1943-S – $2
  • 1944-P – $2
  • 1944-D – $2
  • 1944-S – $2
  • 1945-P – $2
  • 1945-D – $2
  • 1945-S – $2
  • 1949-D/S – $60
  • 1949-S – 30 cents
  • 1950 – 50 cents
  • 1950-D – $10
  • 1951 – 25 cents
  • 1951-D – 25 cents
  • 1951-S – 50 cents
  • 1952-D – 20 cents
  • 1955 – 25 cents
  • 1955 D/S – $20
  • 1958 – 20 cents

In addition to the old nickels listed above, here are the 25 most valuable nickels worth $50 apiece… or more!


More Old Nickel Values

Next up:   Most Valuable Dimes – A List Of Silver Dimes & Other Dimes You Should Hold Onto!


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!

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

  1. Hello Joshua. I have two questions one is when they say in tac rim and while grading trying to grade the rim and how far worn trying to find out what the exact the definition intaced I mean is it like the picture of this 23,s just getting into the letters is that Beyond gradeable. And would these make a G4. An when it say date a n ledger readable is that what the Bears are using a loop magnified.. Thank you Sir.

    1. Hello, David —

      Technically, the date is legible on these, but just barely. The rim does migrate into the very tops of the letters. I am a fairly conservative grader and think these make some very nice About Good-3 specimens or weak Good-4 pieces. If you sell them, you might find somebody who is a little looser with grading interpretation and similarly deem these as Good-4.

      I hope this gives you some insight. Good luck!


      1. Yes it helps a lot . I have a lot
        Of buffalo nickels in this conditions .but being abele to grade is a must, as you know .for in the case of the 1923-S it means a different in value, of 1.50 or 8.00 dallors. Thank you Joshua. .Take care.

  2. I found this nickel it shinny . What’s it worth. Thank .you. PS that all for now .

    1. Hi, David —

      Nice war nickel! It’s a 1944-S Jefferson nickel with some very nice surfaces. It’s hard to say without looking at the coin under magnification whether or not this is a gem specimen or even better. I’d peg the value at around $5 and up, though closer inspection of the surfaces could yield this as a higher- or lower-quality mint state piece worth more or less.

      Nice coin!

  3. Hi Joshua. I need your help, Could you post a link that tell an shows the selling value of U.S. coins I’m just wanted to have a idea of what the coins might be worth if I did sell ‘not sure if I’m going to I’m just curious if you could do that for me I’d sure appreciate it thank you very much sir have a good day

    1. Hello, David —

      This article has a set of links I think you’ll find helpful:

      Good luck!

    1. Hi, Bernardo —

      A worn 1954-D Jefferson nickel is worth about 10 cents.

      Thank you for your question,

  4. What is the value of these?

    1. Hi, Bernardo —

      All of these coins unfortunately appear cleaned and are worth less than half of their value than if they were original. I’d put the value of all of these around 50 cents to $1 each. The 1908, if it has an “S” mintmark on the reverse (“tail’s side”) under the wreath, is worth about $35 to $40 — far less than the $80 to $100 or more if the coin had been left in its original color.

      I hope this info is helpful,

  5. i found this penny and was curious as to if I might have found a new error, can u please help josh?

    1. Hi, Erica —

      Unfortunately this is not an error, but rather a post-mint alteration in which the third digit of the date was manipulated to create what appears to the date “1984”. The damage appears to have taken form through two digs, possibly created by a sharp, pointy object striking two blows on the surface.

      If this coin is a pre-1982 copper cent (it appears to be) than it’s worth about 2 cents for its copper value.


      1. Hello Josh, Thank you for your response, I have just started to take interest in coin collecting, I have just found 6 1990 no s pennies i understand that they have to be the proof 1990 no s ones to be of any value, I have will add the pics to this note, please let me know what you think. Thank you again, I don’t mean to bother you with all these questions i am trying to catch on lol.
        Erica lynn

        1. also my nickles

          1. Hello, Erica —

            You have some very nice collectible Buffalo and Jefferson nickels here. I’ve provided a rundown on the values below:

            •1926 Buffalo nickel, average circulated – $1 cents to $1.25
            •1934 Buffalo nickel, average circulated – 75 cents to $1
            •1937 Buffalo nickel, average circulated – 75 cents to $1
            •1944-D Jefferson war nickel (35% silver) – $1 to $1.50
            •1945-P Jefferson war nickel (35% silver) – $1 to $1.50
            •No date Buffalo nickel – 25 to 50 cents

            Here’s more info on Buffalo nickels and Jefferson war nickels:

            Buffalo nickels:
            Jefferson war nickels:

            Thank you for your questions and photos!


        2. Hi, Erica —

          Very astute of you to check on whether or not these are proof 1990 no-S Lincoln cents. These are in fact business-strikes and not proofs. These were made at the Philadelphia Mint and did not contain any mintmarks. These are worth face value.

          Thank you so much for your question and photos!


    Hello Josh,
    Here I have a 1960 D Nickel. Would you please help me distinguish if this is actually Doubled Die or if this is machine doubling
    Thank you ~Murland

    1. Hi, Murland —

      Hmm… Because the doubled areas have a shelf-like appearance and so much of the coin exhibits doubling on both sides, this strikes me as being machine doubling. If so, this coin may have nominal value to collectors who pursue such anomalies, but this is not a doubled die.

      Thank you for your question and fantastic images!


    1. Hi, Gary –

      I don’t seem to see a photo of the coin you’re asking about, but if it’s a well-worn 1934 Buffalo nickel with no mintmark, then it’s worth about $1 to $2.

      I hope this info helps!

  7. Hello, Joshua, My question is about the 1938 D over D , In the 2017 Red Book, it only has the D/S , listed in the value section . No D/D ,So is this one that I have a R.P.M. prepunched mint mark. Or is it a double die . An what would it’s approx value be . Thanks .

    1. Hi, David —

      As yo know, there are so many more repunched mintmark varieties than any single guidebook could ever encompass. I did some pricing research on any 1938 D/D Buffalo nickels, it looks like values range from about $30 to $50 for a typical uncirculated example.

      I hope this helps,

  8. Can anyone tell me what happened to this 1989 Jefferson nickel? For example, the Compare the M and Os in Monticello, also the RIS in Pluribus. The building looks worn but on closer examination there is very little ware at all, it’s just a mess.

    1. Hi, Joseph —

      It’s difficult to say for sure because of lighting variances and such. Something about this coin suggests some type of die weakness or strike-through error, but I can’t say for sure without seeing the coin at different angles. Perhaps it might be worth sending into a professional for an in-hand evaluation.

      If you’re interested, here are links on how to find good coin dealers:
      The best coin certification companies around:
      And a searchable list of coin dealers nationwide:

      Good luck!

      1. Thank you for getting back to me Joshua, its so hard to get a good pic of it, whatever the case, for being such a mess it’s such a nice looking nickel and whatever may have happened it would appear to be pretty uncommon non-the-less.

        1. You’re welcome, Joseph —

          Yes, it does appear to have some surface abnormalities. The wavy surface isn’t indicative of normal flow lines. I think there was a die issue and it may even be a strike-through error of some sort, but it’s hard to say without getting a closer look at the coin and viewing it from different angles and such.

          If you do get a sight-seen evaluation for the coin, I wish you all the best!

  9. Hello Joshua, I have three Nichols 1911 V nickel 1937 Buffalo 1937 s and a 1939 P Jefferson nickel what are they worth, I tried to get the best pic, hope there not to bad. ,,, ThankYou. #1

    1. Hi, David!

      It looks like you have a nice 1911 Liberty nickel worth about $3, an About Uncirculated or better (can’t tell with the photo alone) 1937-S Buffalo nickel valued at about $12 and up, and a well-worn 1939 Jefferson nickel that has a value of about 15 cents.

      Cool finds!

  10. Hi there Joshua! I have a 1964 nickel that I was really hoping someone could check it out due to my lack of experience. I’ve tried to find similar coins online without any luck so I’m worried it may not be as cool as I thought it was haha. If you zoom in a little bit you can see a inner ring that goes through the words that seems perfectly centered. If anyone could check it out it would be vary greatly appreciated so I could add this gem to my collection. Thank you!!

    1. Hi, Jake —

      The inner circle is post-Mint damage and was likely caused by a vending machine coin mechanism or another similar device. It nevertheless does stand out – I can see why you held on to it. It is, however, worth face value.

      Thank you for question and photo,

  11. Hi Joshua! Yes I’m still searching! Probably will from here on out! 🙂 Just wanted to share with you, last night I found a 1942 P nickel! Cool huh? I’m hooked! Also a 1910 Wheat! I’m so loving this!
    I have a question for you; some of the wheats I have are so grungy I can’t even read the dates, as a lot of them were buried before my dad found them metal detecting. Some of them even have the greenish stuff on them. What is the best way to remove some of that without damaging the coins?
    Here the two coins I mentioned.

    1. Impressive, Leah! If a typical collector even came across these two coins over the span of six months or a year in general circulation I’d consider that lucky. You’re making some great finds. The 1942-P Jefferson five-cent coin is worth about $1.50 and the 1910 Lincoln cent, which has some good detail, is worth 75 cents to about $1.50.

      Unfortunately, nothing will really reverse any physical damage done to the metal of any coins that were found buried. As you’d imagine, years — and decades — of time underground and exposed to the elements can and often will do a lot of damage to coins. Actually, the 1910 cent you posted looks pretty good in the photo and is far better off in its exact original state than altered in any way to make it look less grungy.

      If you want to safely remove surface dirt and other loose gunk, you might consider rinsing the coin under tepid running water and then patting it dry with a soft cloth. To remove greenish gunk, you could try (safely, I caution!) using acetone. If using acetone nail polish remover (what I use), be sure it is 100% acetone, because the nail polish mixes sold at many stores often contain other agents that could harm the surface of the coins. It must be 100% acetone to be safely used on coins. By the way, green gunk is often indicative of PVC plastic damage. I recommend keeping these green coins away from your other coins because the damage can actually spread, like a virus, from coin to coin over the course of time… Oye veh (ha ha)!

      Keep on making great finds… and always feel free to post the ones you like here!

      Good luck,

      1. I’ll defiantly keep this in mind! No, I’m not going to do anything to the 1910! I just have a few wheats I can’t even read the dates on because of dirt. I bought some saflips w/inserts and a storage box, and a good magnifier, so rest assured, they are being well taken care of. 🙂 Still really enjoying the errors the best so far though….for now. 🙂


        1. Sounds to me like you’re doing everything correctly so far and are becoming well educated about the hobby. Kudos to you! I really look forward to hearing more about your numismatic journey and finds!


          1. Oh and you will! Tomorrow I’m getting a box of nickels, and 2 boxes of pennies, so watch out coin world! You’ll definitely be hearing from me soon! lol I can’t go through that many coins and not find something! lol All of my recent finds (especially the ones my dad has given me) will be the nucleus of a larger collection, and one day I’ll be able to look lovingly at them and say, “those coins are what started it all”. I’m so glad that 1997 quarter, that wasn’t even an error, caught my eye! I’ve needed a hobby for quite some time, something to occupy my time. Who would have thought it would be numismatics?? There’s so much knowledge! But the route of gaining knowledge I enjoy the most is interacting with people who have learned along the way, just like I am….and you. Thank you so much for the input you give me.
            Also, I met an error collector who said that he has a 1979 SBA like mine and that it almost looks more to him like “toning”, and that I should just hold on to it. (I was going to do that anyway. Hehe! I’ve also seen one more posted. I don’t know yet what toning is, but I will before long….

            Also, I saw your video on the (I believe it was half dollars). Congrats on your finds! In one roll too! I don’t know how long ago it was, but it doesn’t matter. It’s an awesome feeling to find something cool isn’t it?

          2. Hi, Leah!

            Wow, well I’m so glad you’re finding such fulfillment and enjoyment with the hobby… It really is a rewarding pastime and one in which you can learn so much about history, politics, art, culture, and — of course — the coin minting process!

            Thank you for the kudos on the finds I made in that video. I did that video nearly eight years ago… I was still in my late 20s and just getting into making videos. I’ve since focused more of my effort on writing blogs and articles for coin magazines, but still enjoy roll searching. I’m sure you’ll find something noteworthy in the boxes of pennies and nickels. Can’t wait to hear more about them!


          3. Okay Josh, dad texted me this morning and asked if I wanted to have breakfast and said he was bringing me some more coins! In the jar of mostly newer nickels (2004,2005 varieties) there were a 1940, 1941, 1942, 1946, and 1947 nickels! None have mintmarks, which I’m curious about because I know in 1942 Philadelphia started putting their mint mark on them right? Anyway, also a 1957 wheat in the best shape I’ve ever seen a wheat in! I’ll post pictures once I have a chance to take them. Lol But also, there were a bunch of Lincoln cents from 2009 and around there when they were minting the 4 lincoln tribute(?) Cents. Some of these look like they are almost uncirculated. But one has this line across it from one rim to the other, right over lincoln himself! Not sure what it could be. The line runs parallel to the date, just above it. It follows the curviture of Lincoln’s jacket and everything! Take a look and tell me what you think… oh yeah, it appears to be raised.

          4. Hi, Leah!

            Wow, this is cool. Good eye with the 1942 nickel. Did you know two types of nickels were made that year? The “regular” nickel was produced until October 1942, when the production of the silver five-cent coin was authorized and the first “P”-mint Jefferson coins were made. So, what you have is one of the earlier, regular 1942 nickels. Each of the ones you describe is worth in the neighborhood of 8 to 15 cents in average circulated condition. I still personally save all pre-1960 nickels anyway since they are becoming very hard to find in circulation.

            As for the 2009 cent, can you please tell me if the line appears to be incuse (into the metal) or raised? If it’s raised, you’ve got a really great die break. If it’s incuse, it’s a post-Mint scratch… Hoping for a die break here!

            Sounds like you’re on a roll here! Keep it up!

      2. P:S: The 42 p nickel and most of the wheats I’ve been posting are out of the jar of wheats my dad gave me. I just didn’t want you to think I’ve just been pulling them out of circulation. Circulation yes, but no telling how long he’s been collecting them!
        I wanted to ask you about this 1979 P SBA, I was told it must be plated, but it has a large scratch and it looks like it’s this color inside the scratch. Also there’s no wearing through of the plating if it is plated.

        1. Hi there, Leah!

          Oh, wow! But still, these are neat coins your dad has given you and they make a great collection, whether they are the nucleus of a larger collection or the entire collection in and of themselves.

          As for the Susan B. Anthony dollar, you made the right call… it is indeed gold plated. It’s pretty much a certainty that scratch was there when the coin was plated, thus why it, too, is gold colored. Interestingly, the U.S. Mint wouldn’t strike any gold coins until 1983, so this wouldn’t be a possible off-metal error, but how keen of you to ask anyway. This piece is worth about $1.25 as a novelty coin.

          Keep on doing what you’re doing!


    1. HI, Joan….

      Are you asking about the Jefferson war nickels? What year? War nickels are now worth about $1 and up.


        1. Hi, Joan —

          At TheFunTimesGuide, we generally use “average circulated” condition as a price point for older coins. In the case of Buffalo nickels, that means Good-4 to Very Good-8, and for Jefferson nickels Fine to Extremely Fine.

          I hope this info helps!

  12. Have trouble with this site
    My 1945 D. Just found today

    1. Hi, Joan —

      What type of trouble are you having with the site? We’ll be glad to address the issue if you wouldn’t mind sharing with us a few details!

      As for the value of your 1945-D Jefferson 35% silver 5-cent piece, it’s worth between $1.25 and $1.50 given current silver values.

      Best wishes,

  13. In addition to the 1945D, added
    2 1940, 1 1941, 2 1946, 3 1954, 2 1959
    It was from a total of 60 rolls I got from different banks yesterday.

    1. Hi, Joan —

      You made some very nice finds among those rolls! Here are the values of your old nickels:

      •1940 — 10 to 20 cents each
      •1941 — 10 to 20 cents
      •1946 — 8 to 15 cents each
      •1954 — 8 to 15 cents each
      •1959 — 7 to 12 cents each

      *Values assume the coins are in average circulated condition with no damage, such as cleanings, holes, or deep scratches.


        1. Hi, Joan —

          Hmm…. Did you get kicked off while signing in? Too much info to sign in? I can pass this along to the site administrator to help improve how well things function here.

          Thanks for the feedback,

  14. Hi, Joan —

    Hmm.. is it possible you can recover your username/password info and log in using those credentials?

    I’m sorry to hear you’re having issues getting into the site…

    Good luck,

  15. Can you let me know if this coin is valuable? There is no date on the coin. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi, Cathy —

      I’m not positive, but I think the coin is dated 1923 based on the light details I see at the bottom left of the obverse, where the date is normally located. If this in fact is a 1923 Buffalo nickel, it’s worth about 50 to 75 cents in this condition.

      Best wishes,

  16. I’ve had problems with banks giving me brand new rolls of coins. Have you run into this problem? If so what have you done to get circulated rolls of coins?

    1. It’s been an off-and-on issue for me, BitDude. It’s really frustrating, too. You can try requesting circulated rolls as I have — it works about half to twp-thirds of the time.

      Good luck!

  17. Hey Joshua,
    I recently went to a coin show and found these coins. I’d like to know more about their values
    VG10 1883 No Cents Nickel
    3 1913 P Buffalo nickels – they are wiped, in PO1 or FR2. Date wiped, the word FIVE and CENTS weak, LIBERTY weak, I discovered them from their raised mound.
    I don’t have a camera or phone so I tried giving detailed descriptions.

    1. Hi, Gulinky Lu —

      Thanks for the rundown… Based on the descriptions, here are some approximate values for your coins:

      1883 No Cents nickel, VG10 — $4 to $5
      1913-P Buffalo nickels $3 to $5 each

      Hope this info helps!

    1. Hi, Travis —

      While this isn’t meant to be a comprehensive guide, I’d appreciate your sharing any information you’d be willing to offer here.

      Thank you,


    1. Hi, Rachel —

      All the nickels from 1960 on after you asked about here and in the other comments are worth face value in worn condition. However, the others are worth more. You’ll find the pricing info on these here:

      *1943 nickel value —
      *1953 nickel value —
      *1957 nickel value —

      Best wishes,


        1. Hi, Rachel —

          The answers you need about values are in the articles I linked you in my previous reply…

          Hope they help!



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