The U.S. Mint began producing the Jefferson Nickel in 1938. This coin was designed to replace the Buffalo Nickel, and has been produced ever since. The five-cent piece remains very popular and is still produced by the mint today. A nickel may not seem like a coin that could have any collectable value, although certain Jefferson Nickels do in fact have significant collectable value.
For a coin to be worth it for a serious coin collector, however, the coin will have to be in near-perfect condition. These coins are the most desired, the most valuable and the most beautiful.
As any type of coin ages, it becomes more and more important to examine the coin’s condition. While coins can have collectable value even if they are not in the best shape, it is usually only coins that have been very well-preserved that collectors seek out. Finding coins that have retained their condition and luster over the years can be quite a challenge, however.
When you are examining a coin, the goal in mind should be to try to gauge how that coin might be graded by a professional grading company. You can use the simple guide below to get a good feel for what a Jefferson Nickel might look like in various conditions and grades.
Uncirculated: Uncirculated coins are often targeted by serious coin collectors. These coins, because they have not been subjected to circulation, have largely if not fully retained their original condition and sometimes even luster. Looking at these coins, in fact, you may have a hard time believing that they were minted several decades ago.
Extremely Fine: Coin collectors will also seek out coins in extremely fine condition. This is just a step below the uncirculated grade, and to be assigned this grade the coins must have only very minor blemishes or defects. These blemishes are so minor; in fact, that they may not even be noticed unless a thorough visual inspection is performed.
Fine: Coins that are considered to be in fine condition have some scratches or other surface damage. The coin’s images and text remain fully intact, however. These coins will show their age and extensive use over the years.
Good: Good is the grade assigned to the majority of Jefferson Nickels on the market today. Heavy wear and tear from many years of use is noticeably visible on these coins with plenty of scratches, discoloration and even dents or smooth edges. Coin collectors will often stay away from coins in this condition while targeting coins in extremely fine or uncirculated condition.
To get an accurate idea of a coin’s value, you must thoroughly consider two components. First, you must figure out what type of coin it is. Many mint years have seen multiple types of Jefferson Nickels produced, and they can sometimes have significant differences in value. Secondly, you need to have a good idea of how the coin might be graded. A coin’s condition means everything to a coin collector, and coins in top condition will quite often sell for far more than similar coins that are aged or show signs of wear. The chart below will outline what you might expect to pay for various Jefferson Nickels on the open market today based on their type and grade.
1962 Jefferson Nickel
|1962 Jefferson Nickel||N/A||N/A||$0.50||$1|
|1962 Jefferson Nickel (D)||N/A||N/A||$0.50||$1||Source: Red Book|