Coin Values Moving with Precious Metals: Up-Dated 6/7/2021: Gold $1883 | Silver $27.54


1945 Nickel Value

Minted with silver as part of its alloy; 1945 nickel value is on a solid base. Silver fluctuates and these nickels move up and down with movement in silver price.

Collectors favor these silver nickels. Nice condition nickels no longer trade based on silver. Demand from collectors supports higher value. Using a step by step approach recognize and separate high premium coins.

1945 Jefferson Nickel

Steps Leading to Value:

  • Step 1: Date and Mintmark Variety - Collectors assemble sets including each date and its mintmark variety. Each variety is valued separately.
  • Step 2: Grading Condition - Condition of your coin is graded to find the silver nickels worth more than base silver value.
  • Step 3: Special Qualities - 1945 is the end of the silver era nickels and an important collector date. Silver price movement over the decades is a special quality.
1945 Jefferson Nickel Value
 Condition of Coin
DateGoodFineExtremely
Fine
Mint
State
  1945 Jefferson Nickel Value Up-Dated 6/7/2021
1945 P $1.11 $1.11 $1.11 $4.47
1945 D $1.11 $1.11 $1.11 $3.67
1945 S $1.11 $1.11 $1.11 $3.10

Begin the step by step method to identify your coin and determine worth. Value of coins is supported by collectors; their preferences are both date and mint variety and when assembling a collection, close attention to nice, eye appealing examples.

Step 1: | Date and Mintmark Variety Identified

1945 Jefferson Nickel | Last Year of the Silver Variety to Recognize

1945 became the last year of the silver nickel era. All nickels dated 1945 are the silver variety. A slight separation in value is found identifying the branch mint issues. Millions of 1945 silver nickels were struck and most circulated for years, many for decades. With continued use the majority became very worn and these trade at silver content value.

1945-S Jefferson Nickel

"S" Mintmark on Reverse: San Francisco Mint Struck the Coin

1945-S Silver Jefferson Nickel

San Francisco silver nickels are identified by the large "S" mintmark above Monticello on the reverse of the coin.

The placement and size of the "S" mark confirms the silver issue and a premium value. Grading condition further narrows value and potential collector condition coins.

1945-D Jefferson Nickel

"D" Mintmark on Reverse: Denver Mint Struck the Coin

1945-D Silver Jefferson Nickel

With many collectors seeking nice condition silver nickels, Denver mint 1945 issues are closely inspected. 37.1 million silver nickels were struck at the Denver mint in 1945 and released into circulation. Finding a well-preserved example is the goal of collectors.

Identify the Denver coin by the large "D" above Monticello on the reverse. This also confirms the silver issue premium nickel.

1945-P Jefferson Nickel

P Mintmark on Reverse: Philadelphia Mint Struck the Coin

1945-P Silver Jefferson Nickel

The last of the silver nickels were struck at Philadelphia in 1945. Producing just over 119 million to finish the silver nickel era. Striking more 1945's than the branch mints combined, the Philadelphia issue is the abundant variety.

Silver in the 1945 nickels is a solid base to value. Confirm the Philadelphia and silver variety by the large "P" mintmark on the reverse above the dome of Monticello. Next is to inspect the condition of the coin and determine possible higher collector condition and worth.

Step 2: | Condition is Judged and Grade Determined

Grading Confirms 1945 Jefferson Nickel Value

Grading Jefferson nickels begins with an assessment with the surface condition. Wear is the first consideration; it defines either a Mint State nickel or a circulated piece. The main value difference in the series is determining a Mint State coin from a worn coin. High points are examined to make a judgement.

Mint State Grade

1945 Jefferson Nickel Mint State Grade

Mint State: A coin with no wear to the surface is covered in original mint luster. This gives a coin its shine and brilliance. A major design element, Jefferson's hair is high in relief and looking at the top of his head, luster remains. Just below the part line is an additional high area, luster remains here as well. Color and texture match in both areas. No wear is seen helping place the coin in Mint State grade.

Areas of Jefferson's face and coat are all fully lustrous with no dulling and smoothing.

Extremely Fine Grade

1945 Jefferson Nickel Extremely Fine Grade

Extremely Fine: A major factor defining the Extremely Fine grade is light wear removing the original luster. Light wear is important, all small details remain, just slightly worn.

At the top of Jefferson's head, the hair is just showing small amounts of flatness. Details representing waves within the hair remain. Just below the central area is also showing signs of dulling and smoothness. Keeping the coin in Extremely Fine condition is the remaining small lines within the hair.

Most small, fine detail remains and the coin retains a well-defined appearance.

Fine Grade

1945 Jefferson Nickel Fine Grade

Fine: Wear has become noticeable as covering large areas creating flatness, defining the grade.

Hair at the top of the head is now smooth lacking any smaller fine line detail. Central areas of the head are now connected to the top of the head and a flat area extends from the ear upwards.

Although small details are worn and missing, all major contours are visible. Cheek and jaw are worn but not connected and only a slight merging of the collar line to shoulder is seen.

Good Grade

1945 Jefferson Nickel Good Grade

Good: Heavy wear and large flat areas is defining the look and grade of coin in Good condition.

Jefferson's hair from the top of his head to below the ear has lost all small details and contours. The flatness of his hair and merging of his forehead and cheek into one flat area places the grade in the Good range. Heavy wear is found at the shoulder and collar and connecting the two.

Both the date and lettering remain readable, protected by the rim. A slight amount of fading into the rim is visible, just touching the tops of the letters.

How to Video: Grading Jefferson Nickels

In depth look into the condition of old nickels and how it helps determine value.

Video, Images and Descriptions | Grading Jefferson Nickels

Step 3: | Special Qualities Enhancing Value

Built-In Premium Silver Nickels

Silver Jefferson nickels are an era of the series (1942 to 1945) that is now experiencing solid premium value. The fact all are 30% silver and silver has risen from 45 cent an ounce in 1942 to $27.54 per once as of 6/7/2021 is a unique era to Jefferson nickels.

Reverse of Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver Mint Jefferson Silver Nickels

Recognizable by the large mintmarks on the reverse; millions of silver alloy nickels were minted. Freely circulating for decades, as silver prices remained in the 50 to 80 cent range until the early 1960's.

1945 became the last year these silver nickels were minted. From October 1942 until the end of authorization in December 1945 a grand total of 869 million entered circulation. All combined; 48,699,548 ounces of silver was used in production of these nickels.

By the early 1960's silver prices were rising and along with removal of silver from dimes, quarters, and half dollars in 1964; silver nickels disappeared from circulation. By 1964 silver was $1.29 per ounce, these nickels were now worth more than face value.

All pre 1946 nickels need a close look, not only for the silver issues but high-grade examples. Collectors are creating a demand for vintage nickels.

References

U.S. Mint. 1946 U.S. Mint Annual Report. https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/514144
U.S. Mint. 1945 U.S. Mint Annual Report https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/338
U.S. Mint. 1965 U.S. Mint Annual Report https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/514150

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