War nickels were minted from 1942-1945. These coins have value as both numismatic coins and silver bullion. Keep reading to learn more about these coins.

1942 Nickel

War Nickel Reverse

Specifications

Type: Jefferson Nickel
Year: 1942-1945
Face Value: $0.05
Composition: 56% copper, 35% silver, 9% manganese
Silver Weight: .05626 oz.
Total Weight: 5 grams
Current Silver Bullion Value: $1.38

History

The United States introduced the war nickel on October 8th, 1942. These war nickels contained no actual nickel. Silver and manganese were used to replace nickel. The purpose of the war nickel was to conserve nickel, a critical wartime commodity. The government needed nickel in order to fight in WWII.

Series

Different series are available. War nickels were minted out of three different locations- Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. Nickels with the P mint mark were minted out of Philadelphia. Nickels with the D mint mark were minted out of Denver. Lastly war nickels with the S mint mark were minted out of San Francisco. The mint mark can be found on the reverse side of the coin above the Monticello image.

Silver proof coins with the P mint mark were minted during 1942 and these coins will sell for more money.

Note: Standard clad nickels were also minted during 1942. You can tell if you have a standard nickel or a silver war nickel by looking at the mint mark. The silver war nickels minted in 1942 have either a P or S mint mark.

Design

Felix Schlag designed these coins. The war nickels have the same design as the pre-war Jefferson nickels. The only difference is that the mint mark is larger and placed above the Monticello image.

The design on the obverse side of the coin features a portrait of Thomas Jefferson. The reverse side of the coin features Monticello- Jefferson's former home in Virginia.

Value

Any war nickel is worth at least its weight in silver. The silver melt value for each coin is $1.38 as of October 25, 2021. This melt value is calculated from the current silver spot price of $24.56 per ounce.

Most war nickels in circulated condition will sell for a premium above their melt value. Proof coins will sell for higher prices.

Ultimately, the value of a war nickel will depend on its series and its condition. See the list below to learn the value for any individual coin.

 

Sources:

The Red Book