9 Rare and Valuable Nickels You Might Own

11th March, 2024


Mint Year: Older coins, especially pre-1960s, are more likely to be valuable. Rarity: Limited production runs or special editions. Mint Errors: Doubled dies, missing mint marks, etc., appeal to collectors. Condition: Less wear and tear means more significant value.

Why Are Some Nickels Valuable?

1943-1945  "War Nickels"

Why They're Special: Made with silver alloy when metals were scarce during WWII. How to Spot Them: Large mint mark ('P,' 'D,' or 'S') above Monticello on the reverse. 

1950-D Jefferson Nickel

Why It's Special: The low mintage year for the Denver mint makes these relatively rare. How to Spot It: Look for the 'D' mint mark below the date on the front.

2009-D Doubled Die Reverse

Why It's Special: Striking error creates a "ghost image" effect, most noticeable in the text and architectural elements of the design. How to Spot It: Look for doubling on the reverse side, especially in the words "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and the details on Monticello. 

2004-D Wisconsin State Quarter "Extra Leaf" Variety

Why It's Special: A mint error where some quarters were struck with an extra leaf on the corn – some have a prominent extra leaf, others more subtle. How to Spot It: Inspect the corn ear. A high, protruding leaf near the top is rarer, but even a lower extra leaf adds some value. 

1937-D "Three-Legged" Buffalo Nickel 

Why It's Special: A worn die created the iconic "missing leg" error—highly sought after by collectors. How to Spot It: One of the most noticeable errors is that the buffalo will appear to be missing its front right leg.

1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel

Why It's Special: The mint reused an old die, striking an '8' over the original '7'. This layering effect becomes apparent on inspection. How to Spot It: Noticeable layering in the '1918' date, especially on the last digit. 

1883 "No Cents" Liberty Head Nickel

Why It's Special: There was a short-lived design flaw where the word "CENTS" was omitted, creating confusion; some con artists even gold-plated them to pass as $5 coins! How to Spot It: The reverse will miss the word "CENTS" below the Roman numeral 'V.'