Ok, gather round kiddos because today we’re gonna talk about the Jefferson Silver War Nickels. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Aren’t nickels supposed to be made of, well, nickel?” And you would be right, my young friend. However, during World War II, nickel was in short supply, and the U.S. Mint had to get creative.
Enter the Jefferson Silver War Nickel, minted from 1942-1945. These bad boys were composed of 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese. The switch from nickel to silver composition was made to free up nickel for the war effort, as it was a key component in the production of armor and artillery.
But wait, there’s more! These nickels also have a little secret hiding in plain sight. If you look at the reverse side of the coin, you’ll notice that the famous Monticello building (Thomas Jefferson’s home) has an interesting difference from the previous version of the coin. The building no longer has the classic ornamental details, and instead, it has been simplified and flattened. Also the large mint marks P D or S were located atop the building. The story being that the coins would be easy to spot by banks tellers after the war. The coins would then be taken out of circulation and melted down to retrieve the silver.
Now, let’s talk numbers. Over one billion Jefferson Silver War Nickels were minted, making them quite common today. However, the silver content of these coins has made them popular among coin collectors and precious metal investors alike. In fact, if you were to melt down aJefferson Silver War Nickel, you would get about $1.30 worth of silver!
So, there you have it, folks. The Jefferson Silver War Nickel, a coin that was both a product of its time and a reflection of the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the U.S. Mint during World War II. If you happen to come across one of these gems in your piggy bank or coin jar, hold onto it tight. You never know what it might be worth one day!
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