United States Silver Nickel
Silver nickels produced between 1942 and 1945 are known as War-Time Nickels. They were not made of nickel because it was needed to produce armor plating during World War II. Because nickel was conserved at the time, the nickel (5 cent piece) was produced using silver bullion, copper and manganese. Large quantities of this coin were produced and many are still in circulation.
Design and History of the Silver Nickel
On the obverse side of the nickel you will see a side profile of the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. He is facing left on the front of the coin. The picture of Jefferson was inspired by a previous bust that was sculpted in marble.
On the reverse side of the silver nickel, you will see a picture of Jefferson’s home in
Monticello, Virgina and the words, the United States of America and five cents, all printed in capital letters. The mint mark, “P” is located just under these words. You will also see the words, E Pluribus Unum, also printed in capital letters. It is located just above the picture of Jefferson’s home in Monticello.
During World War II nickel was needed by the ammunition industry, so silver nickels were produced using silver bullion, copper and manganese instead. Congress halted the use of nickel on October 8, 1942 and 1945 nickel was once again used. The silver nickel is made of 35% bullion silver, just over 50% copper and 9% manganese. Its total weight equals 5 grams.
The Value of the Silver Nickel
A silver nickel is now worth $1.47, depending on its condition. A new nickel is known as an uncirculated coin, while a worn one is circulated. Before taking your coins to a dealer, sort them out and organize them, looking at the date and checking to see if it has a mint mark, “P”. This saves the dealer time and frustration of going through them. Experts also recommend not cleaning the coins, as a matter of fact, they are worth more in their original condition.
There were large quantities of the silver nickel produced until the year 1945. Many are unique because the words inscribed on the reverse side are quite large. To identify your silver nickel use a magnifying glass to determine if it has the mint mark “P” written underneath the words, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and FIVE CENTS.
For more information check out this list of valuable nickels.