Coin Values Moving with Precious Metals: Up-Dated 8/3/2020: Gold $1974 | Silver $24.26
Old Nickel Values are Rising
Old nickel values are benefiting from renewed collector demand. The different nickel series, plus the varieties within the major series are attracting interest. A step by step approach identifies the varieties, dates and mintmarks, and how to recognize condition. All important steps needed to determine how much old nickels are worth.
Steps Leading to Value:
- Step 1: Recognize the Different Series of Nickels - US nickels include a variety of series and sub-varieties within series, all important to recognize.
- Step 2: Date and Mintmark are Identified- Date and mintmark combinations are each valued separately. Rarity and demand contribute to a wide range in value found among all the different dates.
- Step 3: Grading Condition - Judging condition is done by comparing your nickel to images and descriptions. Value charts highlight the importance of condition.
- Step 4: Special Qualities - Surface qualities are examined to recognize collectible quality nickels.
How to determine old nickel values starts with identifying the series. Examine your coin and compare to the following images to find a match.
Note: Images within blue borders are Links to the different nickel series.
Step 1: | Recognize the Different Series of Nickels
Three Cent Nickel Values | A Special Coin
Date of a three-cent nickel and how well it's preserved separates the common from the rare. Not widely known, the three-cent nickel is a coin specialist favorite. They treasure certain rare dates and all high condition coins. A unique series of US coinage with continual demand.
Shield Nickel Value | High for the Right Coin
Introducing a nickel alloy five cent piece in 1866, Shield nickels are a first for US coins. Many dates in the series that ended in 1883 have very low mintage numbers. Small amounts minted, plus most served until very worn, leaves few available today. Grading images and video help identify the scarce condition, in demand nickels. Value chart list dates highlighting rare nickels.
The Value of V Nickels | Common to Very Rare
A nickel series gaining in popularity. Causing all dates and mints to rise in value. The series began in 1883 and collectors are discovering early years are difficult to find in nice collectible quality. Grade your coins carefully and compare to the old nickel values chart.
Buffalo Nickel Value | How to Find the Rare Ones
A very popular coin series rising in value. Even coins without dates are valued over ten cents. Today, collectors are closely examining Buffalo nickels looking for special dates and higher condition examples. Often large value differences are found in just a minor improvement in how well the coin is preserved. Collector preference is creating demand showing in strong values on the charts. Follow the steps to correctly identify and judge your old nickels.
Jefferson Nickel Values | Gaining Popularity
From the early dates to silver nickels many dates and mint marks standout from the rest in value. Found every day, compare your coins to the value charts. One of the few coins worth searching through your pocket change.
Step 2: | Date Plus Variety and Mintmarks are Identified
Nickel series have within special sub-varieties worth recognizing. Subtle design changes to the coin, branch mints striking small amounts of certain dates, and in the case of Jefferson nickels, silver added to the alloy.
Early years of each series saw modification to designs creating multiple varieties for some years. Recognizing "Rays" and "No Rays" reverse varieties of Shield nickels is important to value. Another example; Liberty nickels were minted with no indication of denomination as part of the design in the beginning of the series. Quickly changed creating a sought-after variety. Buffalo nickels with modifications to the reverse and alloy differences in Jefferson nickels, all are considered, helping narrow value range.
Examples of date and mintmark combinations are included as part of a typical collector set of coins. Many dates of each series are available and affordable. Many mintmark varieties of dates are also common. Identifying the different mintmarks used by branch mints is needed, along with the date to separate common from scarce issues.
Recognizing all date and mintmarks is covered in-depth and listed on value chart.
🔎In Step 1 above are image links to match your coin. Visit the series page for value charts and details on how to value your old nickel.
Step 3: | Grading Condition | Old Nickel Values are Conditional
Grading a coin is judging its condition compared to standards. The amount of wear is examined and a "Grade" is used to indicate its state of preservation. These grades identify condition and narrow values.
Beginning with the top-grade Mint State; the following are descriptions of grades used to indicate condition. Greater detail to grading nickels is found on series pages.
Mint State Grade: Highest points of the design are first examined and if found without wear, the coin is a candidate for the Mint State grade. Indicators of wear are smoothing of the high peaks of design and loss of the luster to the surface. The shine of a mint state coin is due to the delicate luster, part of the surface when minted. Dulling and smoothing of luster indicates wear.
Extremely Fine Grade: With just a small amount of wear to a coin, the very upper parts of the design begin to flatten. If just minor amounts of wear, confined to small areas the coin are visible, the nickel is considered Extremely Fine grade. As example: Liberty's portrait on the "V" nickels shows just a few strands of hair merging above her forehead. Upper edges of leaves in the reverse wreath are slightly flattened. Minor smoothing and blending of upper contours define the grade.
Fine Grade: A nickel with noticeable flatness over most high areas defines a nickel in Fine grade. High points have lost the minor details and display smooth areas without detail. A Buffalo nickel showing the Indian's hair without fine strands is an example. Cheek is also slightly flattened. To remain in Fine condition, nickels are crisp with detail in lower relief - protected areas. Back to the Buffalo nickel, one indication is all numerals of the date are readable.
Good Grade: An old nickel worn to the condition only outlines of major devices remain is considered and likely grades as "Good". Fine details are worn to a smooth flat surface on these heavily used nickels. The shield on Shield nickels is slightly raised from the field, however all detail to the frame of the shield and leaves to the wreath either side is missing. Despite this heavy wear a nickel remains recognizable as to date, especially important to Buffalo nickels, known for dates wearing away quickly.
Grading Videos Narrow Old Nickel Values
Video | Grading Shield Nickels
Video | Grading Liberty Nickels Video and Descriptions
Grading Buffalo Nickels - How to Video and Descriptions
Video, Images and Descriptions | Grading Jefferson Nickels
🔎Above in Step 1 image and text links lead to series pages of in-depth coverage. Each series page defines grading in detail. Close-up images and descriptions of grades are used to judge condition. Additional video helps to identify many subtle points to grading old nickels.
Step 4: | Special Qualities Enhancing Value
Old nickels derive their value from collectors pursuing sets of these coins. Some dates are rare because few remain thus raising value because of scarcity. Others nickels are higher priced because of a high level of condition. One subtle feature is eye appeal a nickel displays. Coin collecting includes a visual appreciation of coins.
High to Low Grade
Unless cost is a factor; collectors strive for the higher quality least worn nickel. Higher grades are in greater demand.
Toning and Appeal
Nice toning enhancing the design and helping bring out details is the favored choice of collectors. Pleasing toning is often a deciding factor to solid value.
Absence of Damage
Excessive marks eliminate any collectability to a Jefferson nickel. The affordability of most dates allows a collector to pass on coins with distracting marks in the Jefferson nickel series.
Compare your coin to the traits of quality collectible nickels. These apply to all series and raise values. Positive qualities include:
- Major and minor details of the design are visible.
- Surface of the coin is relatively mark free.
- Coloration is even and pleasing.
A coin meeting the above standards places it in the running as a collectible, valued coin.
🔎Match your nickel to the image links in Step 1 and visit; how to determine in-depth nickel values of your coin.
Coin Values | CoinStudy Articles
Grading Old Nickels | Video Series
Videos, close-up images and descriptions, give insight into the details to accurately grade the condition of your old nickels. Judge carefully to find the true potential value.
Finding Rare Nickels
Rare nickels, for example, ones with double mint marks, occasionally "hide" in your box of old coins. Interestingly, some are still found in circulation today. The reason is most require a magnifying glass to discover. In this case the smallest of details makes for a valuable coin.
Safe Coin Storage | Recommendations
Recommendations on basic supplies that greatly improve coin storage. Providing for safe handling, preserving of value, and organizing your box of old coins.
★Coin Values Discovery... finds Old Nickel Values and...
All old US coin values. The home page is an excellent index with images, helping to identify, and text links to all coin series, from Cents to Gold. Value charts, grading images and descriptions uncover how much your box of old coins is worth. Begin the step by step process of value to any coin series.