The Jefferson Nickel has been in production by the U.S. Mint for decades. These coins got their start in 1938, when they were designed to replace the Buffalo Nickel. They have remained popular since that time, and are still widely used and produced today. Most people might assume that nickels have no collectable value, but they are wrong. Jefferson Nickels can have significant collectable value based on type and condition.
For a coin collector to get serious about a Jefferson Nickel, the coin must be in excellent overall physical condition. Coins in top shape are not only worth more by they are more beautiful as well.
Coins can experience extensive handling and wear over the years. The older the coin is, the more that wear and tear may have taken a toll on its condition. Coin collectors will generally focus on coins that show little to no signs of wear from use. Coins in poor condition can, however, still have collectable value based on scarcity, year and type. Finding coins of this age in great shape is no easy task given how long they have been around.
While professional coin grading companies actually assign grades to coins, you can get a very good idea of how your coin might be graded by visually inspecting it. Use the simple guide below to get an idea of what a Jefferson Nickel might look like in various grades.
Uncirculated: An uncirculated coin will show no signs of age related wear and tear. In fact, these coins will appear to be in freshly struck, pristine physical condition. This makes sense, given the fact that these coins have not been subjected to the rigors of circulation. Coins in uncirculated condition are most often what coin collectors are looking for.
Extremely Fine: Just a step below uncirculated grade, coins in extremely fine condition may also be prized by coin collectors. To achieve such a grade, the coin must have only very minor damage or wear. Often times, this wear is only visible under a very close examination.
Fine: Although a coin in fine condition will still have images or details that remain intact, these coins will also often have serious blemishes or damage. This is usually due to the fact that they have been in use for so long and through countless exchanges.
Good: Most of the Jefferson Nickels on the market today are scratched, dented or discolored, and therefore would fall into the category of good. These coins have been used in circulation for decades, and they show their age. Coin collectors will often pass on these coins, rather looking for similar coins in better shape.
If you want to gauge what your coin might be worth on the open market, the first step is to accurately determine the type of coin you have. For example, there were four editions of the Jefferson Nickel produced in 1956. The second issue to consider is the coin’s condition. Coins that are in great condition may have significantly higher value than similar coins in lousy or even good condition. The chart below will give you a good idea of what these coins may trade for today based on type and condition.
1956 Jefferson Nickel
|1956 Jefferson Nickel||N/A||N/A||$0.75||$1|
|1956 Jefferson Nickel (D)||N/A||N/A||$0.75||$1||Source: Red Book|