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Jefferson Nickel History

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The Jefferson nickel was a replacement to the Buffalo nickel and is still being minted for circulation today! The Jefferson Nickel was first minted and released into circulation in 1938. It is said that for two years the Jefferson Nickel was barely seen in circulation due to hoarders. Moreover, the Jefferson Nickel was minted in silver from 1942-1945 due to the war. This version of the Jefferson Nickel is often referred to as the War nickel. 

The Jefferson nickel’s original designer was Felix Schlag. The original design consisted of a left facing profile of Thomas Jefferson on the obverse and on the reverse a picture of Thomas Jefferson’s plantation “Monticello”. Since the inception of the Jefferson Nickel the design has changed multiple times. 

The Jefferson nickel was first minted in 1938 and is still being minted today, From 1938-1964 the mint marks are located by the word “Monticello”, with the exception of the War nickels. The Jefferson Nickels were minted in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. Some of the key dates of the series are the following:

-1942 S Jefferson Nickel with the reverse of the 1941

1938 Jefferson nickel

-1942-1945 Jefferson nickels due to them being wartime nickels and their silver content

Often times, collectors buy the Jefferson Nickels in Dansco books. The whole set of Jefferson Nickels can be put together relatively cheap, around only $200 or less, including the book! This is a great coin for any beginner on a budget.

Jefferson Nickel Mintages and Values

Date Mintage Very Fine Extremely Fine Uncirculated
1938-P Jefferson Nickel 19,496,000 $0.50 $1.00 $3.00
1938-D Jefferson Nickel 5,376,000 $1.50 $2.00 $7.00
1938-S Jefferson Nickel 4,105,000 $2.50 $3.00 $4.50
1939-P Jefferson Nickel 120,615,000 $0.25 $0.50 $2.00
1939-D Jefferson Nickel 3,514,000 $10.00 $13.00 $60.00
1939-S Jefferson Nickel 6,630,000 $2.00 $5.00 $18.00
1940-P Jefferson Nickel 176,485,000 $0.25 $0.40 $1.00
1490-D Jefferson Nickel 43,540,000 $0.35 $0.50 $2.00
1940-S Jefferson Nickel 39,690,000 $0.35 $0.50 $2.25
1941-P Jefferson Nickel 203,265,000 $0.20 $0.30 $0.75
1941-D Jefferson Nickel 53,432,000 $0.25 $0.40 $2.50
1941-S Jefferson Nickel 43,445,000 $0.30 $0.50 $3.00
1942-P Jefferson Nickel 49,789,000 $0.30 $0.45 $4.00
1942-D Jefferson Nickel 13,938,000 $1.00 $2.00 $28.00
1942-S Jefferson Nickel 32,900,000 $2.00 $2.50 $7.00
1943-P Jefferson Nickel 271,165,000 $2.00 $2.50 $5.00
1943-D Jefferson Nickel 15,294,000 $2.00 $3.50 $6.00
1943-S Jefferson Nickel 104,060,000 $2.00 $2.50 $5.00
1944-P Jefferson Nickel 119,150,000 $2.00 $2.50 $7.00
1944-D Jefferson Nickel 32,309,000 $2.00 $2.50 $6.00
1944-S Jefferson Nickel 21,640,000 $2.00 $2.50 $5.00
1945-P Jefferson Nickel 119,408,100 $2.00 $2.50 $5.00
1945-D Jefferson Nickel 37,158,000 $2.00 $2.50 $5.00
1945-S Jefferson Nickel 58,939,000 $2.00 $2.50 $5.00
1946-P Jefferson Nickel 161,116,000 $0.25 $0.30 $0.75
1946-D Jefferson Nickel 45,292,200 $0.35 $0.40 $1.00
1946-S Jefferson Nickel 13,560,000 $0.40 $0.45 $1.00
1947-P Jefferson Nickel 95,000,000 $0.25 $0.30 $0.90
1947-D Jefferson Nickel 37,822,000 $0.30 $0.35 $0.90
1947-S Jefferson Nickel 24,720,000 $0.40 $0.45 $1.00
1948-P Jefferson Nickel 89,348,000 N/A N/A $1.00
1948-D Jefferson Nickel 44,734,000 N/A N/A $1.60
1948-S Jefferson Nickel 11,300,000 N/A N/A $1.50
1949-P Jefferson Nickel 60,652,000 N/A N/A $2.50
1949-D Jefferson Nickel 36,498,000 N/A N/A $1.50
1949-S Jefferson Nickel 9,716,000 N/A N/A $1.75
1950-P Jefferson Nickel 9,796,000 N/A N/A $2.00
1950-D Jefferson Nickel 2,630,030 N/A N/A $14.00
1951-P Jefferson Nickel 28,552,000 N/A N/A $3.00
1951-D Jefferson Nickel 20,460,000 N/A N/A $4.00
1951-S Jefferson Nickel 7,776,000 N/A N/A $1.50
1952-P Jefferson Nickel 63,988,000 N/A N/A $1.00
1952-D Jefferson Nickel 30,638,000 N/A N/A $3.50
1952-S Jefferson Nickel 20,572,000 N/A N/A $1.00
1953-P Jefferson Nickel 46,644,000 N/A N/A $0.25
1953-D Jefferson Nickel 59,878,600 N/A N/A $0.25
1953-S Jefferson Nickel 19,210,900 N/A N/A $0.75
1954-P Jefferson Nickel 47,684,050 N/A N/A $1.00
1954-D Jefferson Nickel 117,183,060 N/A N/A $0.60
1954-S Jefferson Nickel 29,384,000 N/A N/A $1.75
1955-P Jefferson Nickel 7,888,000 N/A N/A $0.75
1955-D Jefferson Nickel 74,464,100 N/A N/A $0.50
1956-P Jefferson Nickel 35,216,000 N/A N/A $0.50
1956-D Jefferson Nickel 67,222,940 N/A N/A $0.50
1957-P Jefferson Nickel 38,408,000 N/A N/A $0.50
1957-D Jefferson Nickel 136,828,900 N/A N/A $0.50
1958-P Jefferson Nickel 17,088,000 N/A N/A $0.60
1958-D Jefferson Nickel 168,249,120 N/A N/A $0.40
1959-P Jefferson Nickel 27,248,000 N/A N/A $0.25
1959-D Jefferson Nickel 160,738,240 N/A N/A $0.25
1960-P Jefferson Nickel 55,416,000 N/A N/A $0.25
1960-D Jefferson Nickel 192,582,180 N/A N/A $0.25
1961-P Jefferson Nickel 73,640,100 N/A N/A $0.25
1961-D Jefferson Nickel 229,342,760 N/A N/A $0.25
1962-P Jefferson Nickel 97,384,000 N/A N/A $0.25
1962-D Jefferson Nickel 280,195,720 N/A N/A $0.25
1963-P Jefferson Nickel 175,776,000 N/A N/A $0.25
1963-D Jefferson Nickel 276,829,460 N/A N/A $0.25
1964-P Jefferson Nickel 1,024,672,000 N/A N/A $0.25
1964-D Jefferson Nickel 1,787,297,160 N/A N/A $0.25

 *Source 2020 Red Book