A combination of date and mint variety along with condition of the coin determines 1956 nickel value. It is today's collector and interests forming a base to premiums in the vintage Jefferson nickel series.
Proceed through the following steps to identify the qualities of your coin and where in the value chart it places.
Steps Leading to Value:
Step 1: Date and Mintmark Variety - Accurately identify the date and mint varieties of the Jefferson nickel series.
Step 2: Grading Condition - Vintage nickels are valued based on strict condition qualities. Images are used to recognize a coin worth above face value.
Step 3: Special Qualities - Collectors have available numbers of examples to choose from for all dates. Original quality of the coin is one of their first considerations.
1956 Jefferson Nickel Value
Condition of Coin
1956 Jefferson Nickel Value Up-Dated
Many factors are considered in evaluating a coin. Jefferson nickels are abundant in quantities, allowing collectors a wide selection to choose when considering a coin. Date and mints are important as part of the series and next a critical judgement of quality is done.
Following the steps covers the important elements to recognizing the quality of coin worth a premium value.
Step 1: | Date and Mintmark Variety Identified
Two Varieties of 1956 Jefferson Nickel to Recognize
Over 100 million Jefferson nickels were minted in 1956. This is an abundant year with ample supplies of the coins available to collectors. Most stayed in circulation and developed worn surfaces, unappealing to collectors. Collectors focus on those with little to no wear when considering a 1956 nickel. Step 2 helps identify the quality in demand.
Mint variety is the first step to confirm. Dates and Mints are collected and valued separately.
1956-D Jefferson Nickel
"D" Mintmark on Reverse: Denver Mint Struck the Coin
Denver struck the majority of the 1956 nickels found today. Over 67 million and considered an available coin through the high mint state grades. A difficulty noticed by collectors is finding an example with clear and crisp details. Quality of the original production varied and many coins were lightly struck rendering details faded. Popularity of the series and demand from collectors for well detailed coins is the base to value.
Denver used a "D" mintmark to identify its production. Finding the small "D" on the reverse next to Monticello confirms Denver struck the coin.
1956 Jefferson Nickel
No Mintmark on Reverse: Philadelphia Mint Struck the Coin
Philadelphia 1956 nickels is the other mint variety identified and collected. Complete sets of vintage nickels include all dates and all mints of the series. Philadelphia struck millions of nickels in 1956; over 35 million released into circulation. An abundant amount and an affordable coin representing vintage nickels.
In the 1950's Philadelphia did not use a mintmark to identify it coinage. No mintmark on the reverse is a Philadelphia issue. Look to the right of Monticello, an empty space between the rim confirms Philadelphia struck the nickel.
Step 2: | Grading Condition Narrows Value Range
Grade and 1956 Jefferson Nickel Value
Collectors devote time to judging condition of coins considered for a collection. Condition of Jefferson nickels within the collectible range are those with little to no wear on the surface. Stages of wear are classified by grades starting with Mints State - no wear and continue to heavily worn condition coins.
Grading is the process of comparing to images representing the grades and judging a close match. Mint State coins are a good beginning, representing coins with full details absent of reduction due to wear causing removal of metal and design.
Mint State Grade
Mint State: Jefferson's portrait is bold in relief, raised high above the field of the coin. Highest areas are inspected to confirm all metal remains as struck with luster covering the surface.
On the high point of Jefferson's forehead close to the hair lines look closely to judge the fine grains of luster remain giving the shine of an original surface. His hair where it meets the forehead is very high in contour, wear has the effect of dulling the surface. A consistent texture and color of the metal with surrounding areas indicates a mint state grade.
Inspect the entire face of Jefferson, no dulling or smoothing of the metal is present helping confirm as high grade example.
Extremely Fine Grade
Extremely Fine: Light wear only on the very highest points of the design is a nickel in Extremely Fine grade. The key to this condition is minimal wear with no large smooth flattened areas.
Jefferson's hair line at the forehead is fully separated from the forehead and boldly raised. Fine lines within the hair remain and are just lightly smoothed from wear. A small amount of smooth texture is noted on his forehead; however, no large flat spot has developed.
Crisp details remain throughout the hair, a rounded cheek is separate of the jaw and hair, and the coat and collar line are visible at the shoulder.
Average Circulated Condition Examples
Average Circulated Condition: Once a Jefferson nickel begins to lose the fine details of design the condition of the coin falls below the Extremely Fine grade. Moderate to heavy wear is visible on the example nickels.
The hair lines above the forehead are now beginning to merge with the forehead. Fine lines within the hair are worn smooth and a large flattened area begins at the top of the head and extends to the ear.
Notice the forehead is no longer rounded in profile and a smooth area connects the cheek and jaw. Wear has caused major design features to merge. Nickels in this worn condition are abundant and affordable to new and beginning collectors.
How to Video: Grading Jefferson Nickels
Recognizing the collectible quality Jefferson nickel is covered in detail. Video and descriptions highlight the subtle judgements in grading.
One of the objectives of cleaning a coin is an attempt at improving its value. Unfortunately, the result in all cases is lowering value, often drastically. Over time the surface of a nickel coin tones; develops colors and shading. The bright silver-grey shine of a newly struck nickel often takes on shades of deeper greys with the "shine" underneath. This changing and addition of toning is natural and appreciated by collectors.
Cleaning a coin removes decades of natural toning and original surface. Mint state coins are "ruined" when cleaned, dropping quickly in appeal and value. Circulated nickels are also never cleaned. Most circulated Jefferson nickels are affordable and available in quantities. With many to choose from, collectors pass on any coin with suspicions of a former cleaning.
Silver nickels of the Jefferson series (the coinage of 1942 to 1945) are prone to turning a very deep shade of grey. Circulated examples of silver nickels are often unappealing because of the natural colors they develop. This dark "look" of the silver nickel is expected and the challenge is finding the examples with eye appealing shades of toning. A cleaned silver nickel is never added to a coin collection. Without collector premium any potential of value above silver content is lost.
With values of many Jefferson nickels very affordable and close to face value, there is no advantage to cleaning.
Jefferson nickels of the late vintage era are typically collected in high grade. Value chart starting in 1938 show the collector grades and values. Identify the nickels in demand by collectors using a step-by-step method. Images and descriptions are used to grade condition.
On occasion rare nickels do turn up... old better date buffalo nickels, valuable silver war nickels, even a few Jefferson nickels and others. Search your box of old coins and discover any collectible nickels.
A quick reference to U.S. Coin Values. Images to identify each coin series and minimum values are listed for each type. Using the step-by-step method to how much coins are worth. Bookmark the Mobile Guide to your phone.
All old U.S. coin values. Image and descriptive index leading to value charts. Step by step method to date and variety identification. And grading condition by comparing to images, video and descriptions. Special qualities are also judged. Discover how much your box of old coins is worth.