Chances are good you may have a Jefferson Nickel in your pocket right now. These five-cent pieces have been an important part of U.S. coinage for decades. The U.S. Mint began producing the Jefferson Nickel in 1938, when it replaced the Buffalo Nickel. While most people would likely think that a nickel is not collectable, some Jefferson Nickels can be quite valuable depending on year, type and condition.
For a serious coin collector, to jump through the necessary hoops to obtain a Jefferson Nickel, the coin will likely have to be in almost perfect condition. These coins are more beautiful than distressed coins, and can be far more valuable.
When looking at coins that have been around for decades, you have to take a close look at the coin’s condition. While some of these coins may be valuable even if in poor condition, collectors typically only desire coins that are in pristine condition. Finding coins that have stood the test of time and look great can be quite difficult, however.
When you are looking at a coin’s condition, what you are really in effect doing is trying to decide how that coin might be graded. You can see the guidelines below to get a good estimate of what a Jefferson Nickel might be worth based on its condition and grade.
Uncirculated: Collectors most often try to get their hands on coins in this condition. These coins have never been circulated, or used for exchange, and because of this their mint-state condition may have been well preserved over the years. Looking at the coin’s physical appearance, you will likely assume that the coin was freshly minted and has not been around for decades.
Extremely Fine: Coins assigned this grade will have some very minor flaws. Nevertheless, they may still be sought after by collectors. With this grade, any flaws on the coin are very insignificant, and may only be noticed during a very close inspection.
Fine: Coins that are assigned this grade have been used in exchange over the years, and will have some visible signs of age and wear. That being said, any damage to the coin does not affect the integrity of the coin’s images or details.
Good: The majority of Jefferson Nickels on the market today would fall into this category. These coins have seen heavy use over many years. They may have significant scratches, dents or even discoloration. For a coin collector, these coins are considered the bottom of the barrel and will often be passed on in favor of coins in better condition.
When trying to determine an accurate price range for a coin, there are two key considerations. The first is the coin type. For example, in 1958, there were two types of Jefferson Nickel minted. In addition to the coin type, you must also get an accurate assessment on the coin’s physical condition. Use the chart below to get an idea of what you might expect to shell out for a 1958 Jefferson Nickel based on the coin type and condition.
1958 Jefferson Nickel
|1958 Jefferson Nickel||N/A||N/A||$0.80||$1.50|
|1958 Jefferson Nickel (D)||N/A||N/A||$0.50||$1||Source: Red Book|