Why You Should Buy Silver War NickelsThese war nickels represent an easy way to collect valuable silver that has a fascinating historical significance in American history, and it comes at an extremely low premium.
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What Are War Silver Nickels?Unlike regular nickels, the war nickels have a slightly different mintmark and coloration. Its mintmark appears above the Monticello on the coin’s reverse. Mintmarks vary from: an “S’ for San Francisco Mint, “D” for the Denver Mint, or a “P” for the Philadelphia Mint.
The term Silver War Nickels refer to those produced by the United States Mint from mid-1942 to 1945. These silver nickels are different than those minted before and after WWII, as these were made from 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese. This blend allowed the United States to reserve precious nickel needed for the military.
History Behind Silver War NickelsThe Jefferson Nickel was first struck by the US Mint in 1938 and was a replacement for the buffalo nickel. More than 30 million Jefferson Nickels were struck in 1938 and they were released into circulation on November 15 of that same year.
According to some accounts, the Jefferson Nickel was widely hoarded when it was first released and it is said that the coin was not widely seen in circulation until 1940, almost two years after it was produced. While the Jefferson Nickel has been produced with different designs over the years, this coin remains a classic US mint circulation coin. They remain quite popular in modern times and are still produced by the US Mint today.
During WWII, nickel was highly valued in the United States for use in armor plating so much so that Congress ordered the removal of this metal from the 5-cent piece, effective October 1942. From this date and lasting through the end of 1945, they bore the regular design but were minted from an alloy of 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese.
It was anticipated that these emergency coins would be withdrawn from circulation after World War II, so a distinguishing feature was added. Coins from all three mints bore a large mintmark and the letter ‘P’ was used for the first time on a US coin.
Silver Nickel YearsIt is simple to determine if a given nickel is a silver war nickel, just remember these three important factors: the mintage year, its slightly different coloration, and the mintmark. If the given war nickel was minted in 1942, 1943, 1944, or 1945, you will likely have a coin with silver nickel value.
Secondly, its slightly different coloration is lustrous and will help confirm their content. Lastly, silver war nickels bear mintmarks of “S”, “D”, “P”, above the dome of Monticello on the reverse. The idea of these large mintmarks was to clearly distinguish the silver nickels’ years, making the coins easier to pull from circulation after WWII.