Jefferson nickels remained largely unchanged from their launch in 1938 until 2004, when the Westward Journey nickel series kicked off. And while there aren't many rare Jefferson nickels worth thousands of dollars apiece, there are several pieces that are worth much more than face value and can be found in circulation!
Here's a glance at a few worth looking for:
- 1939-D -- This semi-key issue saw a mintage of 3,514,000 pieces and is worth about $7 and up in circulated grades.
- 1942-45 wartime issues -- The five-cent coins struck from late 1942 through 1945 are made with a 35% silver composition and are worth about $1 each and up; they can be identified by the placement of a large "P," "D," or "S" mintmark above the dome of Monticello.
- 1950-D -- The key date has a mintage of 2,630,030 and is very difficult to find in circulation, but they can be located in pocket change or rolls with enough searching. They're worth about $10 and up in circulated grades.
Of course, be sure to keep an eye out for errors and varieties. These are always interesting pieces that are worth more than just five cents!