The Jefferson Nickel has been a mainstay in the pockets of consumers for decades. The U.S. Mint began producing the Jefferson Nickel in 1938, and this popular five-cent piece replaced the Buffalo Nickel. The Jefferson Nickel is still produced today, and while you might assume that these coins are only worth their $.05 face value, some of them can, in fact, be quite valuable.
For a coin collector to bother with a Jefferson Nickel, the coin must be in excellent physical shape. Not only are coins in excellent condition often worth more money, but they are more attractive as well.
When considering coins that are years, if not decades old, you have to take a close look at the coin’s condition. While a coin may have some collectable value in any condition, it is typically only coins that are in pristine condition that are sought after by coin collectors. Finding coins in this condition can be quite difficult, however, given how long ago many of them were minted.
When you are looking at a coin’s physical condition, you are really trying to determine how that coin might be graded. While a grade can only be assigned by a professionally recognized coin grading company, you can use the guidelines below to get a good idea of what a Jefferson Nickel might look like according to its grade.
Uncirculated: Coins that are in uncirculated condition are highly sought after by coin collectors. Because these coins were never used in circulation, they have not been exposed to millions of human hands over the years and countless exchanges. These coins will appear to be brand new and freshly minted, and will show no signs of age.
Extremely Fine: While coins in extremely fine condition may have some very minor forms of damage or wear, they may still be highly coveted by collectors. To be assigned a grade of extremely fine, a coin may have only very minor surface scratches or discoloration. In fact, the coin will appear brand new and its blemishes can likely only be seen upon a very close visual inspection.
Fine: Coins that have been assigned a grade of fine have been used in circulation and have been exchanged and handled countless times. These coins may have some serious scratches or surface imperfections, although the coin’s images and details will still be completely intact.
Good: The vast majority of coins that are bought and sold today are assigned a grade of fine. These coins have very obvious signs of age related wear and tear, and may have serious scratches, dents or discoloration. A coin collector will likely overlook coins in this condition in favor of similar coins in better physical shape.
To get an accurate estimate of a 1951 Jefferson Nickel’s value, the first key is to identify the type of coin it is. In 1951, there were four types of Jefferson Nickels minted. In addition to identifying the coin type, you must make a careful assessment of the coin’s condition. Collectors care a great deal about condition, and coins in top condition often sell for far more than coins in only good condition. The chart below will help you determine what you might expect to pay for a 1951 Jefferson Nickel based on its type and grade.
1951 Jefferson Nickel
|1951 Jefferson Nickel||N/A||N/A||$4||$8.50|
|1951 Jefferson Nickel (D)||N/A||N/A||$5||$10|
|1951 Jefferson Nickel (S)||N/A||N/A||$2||$4.50||Source: Red Book|