The Jefferson Nickel is one of the most popular circulation coins on the market today. These five-cent pieces were first produced in 1938, and took over for the Buffalo Nickel. While you may not think that a simple nickel has any collectable value, nothing could be further from the truth. Some Jefferson nickels can, in fact, be quite valuable.
For a coin collector to want to acquire a Jefferson Nickel, the coin will likely have to be in excellent overall physical condition. These coins are not only the most visually pleasing, but the most valuable as well.
When assessing any coin that has been produced for decades, you have to take a close look at the coin’s condition. Even though nickels may have collectable value, regardless of condition, serious coin collectors will usually focus their efforts on coins of the highest grades. Finding coins of this age that have been well-preserved can be quite difficult, however.
While coin grading is done by professional coin grading companies, you can get a good idea yourself of how your coin might be graded. Use the guidelines below to get an idea of what a Jefferson Nickel might look like based on the coin’s grade.
Uncirculated: Coin collectors will often look to acquire coins that are in uncirculated condition. Because these coins have not been used in general circulation, they remain in top physical condition. In fact, looking at an uncirculated coin, you might never guess that the coin could be decades old. These coins look to be pristine, as if they were just struck the very same day.
Extremely Fine: Coin collectors will also tend to look at coins that are in extremely fine condition. To be assigned this grade, these coins must have only very minor surface blemishes. These blemishes are usually so minor that they are only noticed under close visual inspection. To the naked eye, these coins will appear to be in excellent overall condition.
Fine: Coins in fine condition will often show some signs of being beat up from years and years of exchange and use. While images and text on these coins remains fully discernible, the coin may have significant scratches or discoloration.
Good: Coins in good condition have very noticeable wear and tear from years of use. These coins may have very significant scratches, dents or divots, and may also be discolored. Most of the Jefferson Nickels bought and sold today would fall into this category. Coin collectors may elect to stay away from coins in this condition, instead looking for coins in superior physical shape.
When trying to assess your coin’s value, the first step is determining what type of coin you have. Mint year 1955 saw four types of Jefferson Nickels produced. While the coin type is very important, the coin’s condition is also of extreme importance when it comes to value. Coins in better condition can sell for vastly larger sums than similar coins that are in a lower condition. Use the chart below to get an idea of what you might expect to pay today for a 1955 Jefferson Nickel based on type and grade.
1955 Jefferson Nickel
|1955 Jefferson Nickel||N/A||N/A||$1||$2|
|1955 Jefferson Nickel (D)||N/A||N/A||$0.75||$1.10||Source: Red Book|