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Jefferson Nickel Prices 1965 - Present

How Much Should I Pay For a Modern Jefferson Nickel?

By , About.com Guide

Jefferson nickelImage Courtesy of: The United States Mint, www.usmint.gov

This guide is intended to give you an idea of how much you should pay to a coin dealer to acquire a Jefferson nickel minted from 1938 to 1964 (see also: Early Jefferson Nickel Prices 1938-1964).  The catalog below provides average coin prices based upon the condition of the coin.  If the coin has wear on it from being used in commerce, it considered "circulated." If it was never used, then it is classified as "uncirculated." Look at the photos below to see an example of each condition.

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Introduction to Coin Prices

There are many factors that go into determining the price that a dealer charges for coins. Knowledge of how the coin market works will help you understand how coin prices are determined. If the coin dealer runs out of 1966 SMS Jefferson nickels, he cannot just call the mint and order more of them because the mint does not make coins dated 1966 anymore. The coin dealer must replenish his stock by buying coins from other dealers or individuals off the street. What he pays you for that coin is known as the "wholesale price" or "value." If you want to buy that 1966 SMS Jefferson nickel from the coin dealer, that is known as the "retail price" or " price."

Condition or Grade Examples

Jeffeson Nickel Average Circulated Condition Circulated Jefferson Nickel in Average Uncirculated Condition Uncirculated
Click on the photos above for a larger image.
Photos courtesy of Teletrade Coin Auctions, www.teletrade.com

Mint Marks

As illustrated in the picture below, the mint mark is located on the obverse right side below the date.  Coins that were minted in Philadelphia from 1965 to 1979 did not have a mint mark and one minted from 1980 until today have a  "P" mint mark. Denver uses a "D" and San Francisco uses an "S".

Mint Mark Location
Jefferson Nickel mint mark location
Images Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com  

Westward Journey Nickel Series Design Types

Beginning in 2004, the U.S. Mint began a special two year series to commemorate the Louisiana Purchase, and Lewis and Clark's westward expedition.  Two new reverse designs were introduced in 2004 and in 2005 the obverse was changed and two new reverse were used.  In 2006 a new obverse was used and the original reverse showing Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, was used once again. 

Jefferson Nickel Standard Design 1938-2003
Original Design 1938-2003

Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com

2004 Westward Journey Nickel Series Designs
2004  "Peace Medal"  &  "Keelboat"

The 2005 Westward Journey Nickel Series Designs 
2005  "Bison"  &  "Ocean"

The 2006 Westward Journey Nickel Series Designs 
2006 - Present: New Monticello Reverse
Click on the photos above for a larger image.
Westward Journey Images Courtesy of: The United States Mint,
www.usmint.gov

Matt Proof Nickels

Two nickels were issued by the U.S. Mint in 1994 and 1997 in special low mintage collector sets. The coins have a special finish on them that gives the entire surface of the coin a frosty finish. Given their rarity, they are never found in circulation.

Matt Proof vs Uncirculated
Jeffeson Nickel Average Circulated Condition
Click on the photos above for a larger image.
Photos courtesy of Teletrade Coin Auctions, www.teletrade.com

Jefferson Nickel Prices

The following table lists the price (what you can expect to pay a dealer) for you to obtain a Jefferson nickel. The first column lists the date and mint mark (see the photo above) followed by the price of an average circulated ("Avg Circ") coin and the average price for an uncirculated ("Avg Unc") one. These are approximate values and the final price that a dealer charges will vary depending on the actual grade of the coin and a number of other factors.

Date Avg Circ Avg Unc Date Avg Circ Avg Unc
1965 F.V. $1.00 1995 P F.V. $1.00
1965 SMS F.V. $2.00 1995 D F.V. $1.00
1966 F.V. $1.00 1996 P F.V. $1.00
1966 SMS F.V. $2.00 1996 D F.V. $1.00
1967 F.V. $2.00 1997 P F.V. $1.00
1967 SMS F.V. $2.00 1997 D F.V. $1.00
1968 D F.V. $1.00 1997 P Matt Proof * - $137.00
1968 S F.V. $1.00 1998 P F.V. $1.00
1969 D F.V. $1.00 1998 D F.V. $1.00
1969 S F.V. $2.00 1999 P F.V. $1.00
1970 D F.V. $1.00 1999 D F.V. $1.00
1970 S F.V. $2.00 2000 P F.V. $1.00
1971 F.V. $2.00 2000 D F.V. $1.00
1971 D F.V. $1.00 2001 P F.V. $1.00
1972 F.V. $1.00 2001 D F.V. $1.00
1972 D F.V. $1.00 2002 P F.V. $1.00
1973 F.V. $1.00 2002 D F.V. $1.00
1973 D F.V. $1.00 2003 P F.V. $1.00
1974 F.V. $1.00 2003 D F.V. $1.00
1974 D F.V. $1.00 Westward Journey Nickel Series
1975 F.V. $1.00 2004 P Peace F.V. $1.00
1975 D F.V. $1.00 2004 D Peace F.V. $1.00
1976 F.V. $1.00 2004 P Keelboat F.V. $1.00
1976 D F.V. $1.00 2004 D Keelboat F.V. $1.00
1977 F.V. $1.00 2005 P Bison F.V. $1.00
1977 D F.V. $1.00 2005 P Bison, SF F.V. $4.00
1978 F.V. $1.00 2005 D Bison F.V. $1.00
1978 D F.V. $1.00 2005 D Bison, SF F.V. $4.00
1979 F.V. $1.00 2005 P Ocean F.V. $1.00
1979 D F.V. $1.00 2005 P Ocean, SF F.V. $4.00
1980 P F.V. $1.00 2005 D Ocean F.V. $1.00
1980 D F.V. $1.00 2005 D Ocean, SF F.V. $4.00
1981 P F.V. $1.00 New Monticello Reverse
1981 D F.V. $1.00 2006 P F.V. $0.50
1982 P F.V. $5.00 2006 P SF F.V. $3.00
1982 D F.V. $1.00 2006 D F.V. $0.50
1983 P F.V. $2.00 2006 D SF F.V. $4.00
1983 D F.V. $2.00 2007 P F.V. $0.50
1984 P F.V. $1.00 2007 P SF F.V. $3.00
1984 D F.V. $1.00 2007 D F.V. $0.50
1985 P F.V. $1.00 2007 D SF F.V. $3.00
1985 D F.V. $1.00 2008 P F.V. $0.50
1986 P F.V. $1.00 2008 P SF F.V. $3.00
1986 D F.V. $1.00 2008 D F.V. $0.50
1987 P F.V. $1.00 2008 D SF F.V. $3.00
1987 D F.V. $1.00 2009 P F.V. $0.50
1988 P F.V. $1.00 2009 P SF F.V. $1.00
1988 D F.V. $1.00 2009 D F.V. $0.50
1989 P F.V. $1.00 2009 D SF F.V. $1.00
1989 D F.V. $1.00 2010 P F.V. $0.50
1990 P F.V. $1.00 2010 P SF F.V. $1.00
1990 D F.V. $1.00 2010 D F.V. $0.50
1991 P F.V. $1.00 2010 D SF F.V. $1.00
1991 D F.V. $1.00 2011 P F.V. $0.50
1992 P F.V. $1.00 2011 D F.V. $0.50
1992 D F.V. $1.00 2012 P F.V. $0.50
1993 P F.V. $1.00 2012 D F.V. $0.50
1993 D F.V. $1.00
1994 P F.V. $1.00
1994 D F.V. $1.00
1994 P Matt Proof * - $46.00

F.V. = Face Value; You can get these coins out of your pocket change.
SF = Satin Finish; These coins were made with a special satin finish and were issued in Uncirculated Mint Sets.
- = Value data is not available.
* = See the section above "Matt Proof Nickels" for more information on these coins.

These prices have been compiled through my personal analysis of the coin market, referencing publications such as Numismatic News, Coin World, "The Official Red Book; A Guide Book of U.S. Coins," published auction results and consulting with various coin dealers.

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