In 1938, the U.S. Mint made a significant change to its five cent piece. The newly designed Jefferson Nickel replaced the Buffalo Nickel. The Jefferson Nickel has been around for a long time, and is still being produced to this day. While some may not believe that these coins carry any value above their face value, early editions such as the 1940 may be sought after by collectors.
For a coin collector, a Jefferson Nickel is only worth acquiring if the coin is in excellent overall condition. Such coins are not only the most valuable, but are the most attractive to look at as well.
For coins that have been around for several decades, the coin’s condition is of utmost importance. While these coins may be valued by collectors in any condition, collectors will likely only look to obtain coins that are considered pristine. Finding nickels in this condition can prove challenging, however.
When you are examining a coin’s condition, you are trying to get an idea of what grade that coin may be assigned. Although the actual grade assignment must be given by a professional coin grading company, you can use the guidelines below to get a good idea of how your coin may be graded.
Uncirculated: This is the coin type that the majority of coin collectors will be looking to obtain. These coins have never exchanged hands in everyday use, and have therefore not been subjected to the damage associated with circulation. Looking at these coins, they will look as if they were freshly minted and have not been handled by human hands.
Extremely Fine: Coins in extremely fine condition may also be sought after by collectors. These coins will, however, show some signs of use over the years. They will have very minimal damage, however, that may only be seen upon close examination. To the naked eye, these coins will appear to be in near-perfect condition.
Fine: Coins that are assigned a grade of fine will have noticeable signs of damage and wear from use over the years. This damage, however, is not enough to affect the integrity of the coin’s images or inscriptions. There will likely be some significant scratches to the coin’s surfaces.
Good: The majority of nickels on the open market today are considered to be in good condition. These coins have been exchanged extensively over the years and will have many scratches and blemishes. Collectors will most often avoid coins in this condition and look for nickels with higher grades. Despite this, these coins may still hold some value because they are one of the earlier editions.
To get an accurate idea of your coin’s price, you must first determine what type of coin you have. There were a few different types of this coin produced in 1940, and the type will have an impact on the coin’s value. Secondly, the coin’s condition will be very important as well, especially to a collector. Coins that are in better condition will usually trade for higher premiums than coins in a lesser condition. The chart below will give you a good idea of what you might expect to pay for a 1940 Jefferson Nickel based on its type and condition.
|1940 Jefferson Nickel||N/A||N/A||$0.40||$0.75|
|1940 Jefferson Nickel (D)||N/A||N/A||$0.50||$1|
|1940 Jefferson Nickel (S)||N/A||N/A||$0.50||$1||Source: Red Book|