Do you have any 1943 nickels in your coin collection? You can fetch a good price if you’re lucky enough to have one. This post covers all you need to know about the 1943 Nickel value and how to determine its worth!

Nickel is a five-cent coin minted in the United States since 1866. In most nickels, the silver color can be attributed to the nickel coating on the coin—not actual silver. The 1943 nickel, however, is unique in that it has actual silver in it! Consequently, the 1943 nickel has become a highly sought-after collectible coin priced accordingly.

If you happen to have a 1943 nickel that contains mintage errors, you are in luck, as these coins have an even higher value. So, how do you value your 1943 nickel? This article offers a comprehensive guide on the 1943 nickel value, including tips on determining the rarity and value of your coin. You'll soon discover why the 1943 nickel in your pocket is special!

Brief Overview of the History Of 1943 Nickel

Brief Overview Of The History Of The 1943 Nickel

Nickels have existed for centuries, but the 1943 nickel is especially important in American history. The 1943 nickel’s—also known as the Silver Nickel—mintage year ran from 1942 through 1945. The visual design of the coin is thanks to Felix Schlang. In the years between 1942 and 1945, the coin underwent significant changes to its metal composition.

Because of their high silver content and the rising value of silver, people would hoard the coins for their melt value rather than their face value. In order to lower the amount of silver in the coins, the government modified their composition—they chose the Johnson Sandwich, which was named for President Lyndon Johnson.

The sandwich was a 75% copper core plated with 25% nickel.  Due to the World War  II metal shortages, the 1943 nickel’s composition was changed to an alloy of 35% silver, 56% copper, and 9% manganese. The new nickels had a lower silver content and are, therefore, much less valuable than the original 1942-1945 coins.

Mintage Of The 1943 Nickel

Mintage Of The 1943 Nickel

The 1943 nickel was produced in large numbers by the United States Mint—about 390,519,000 coins were struck, with the bulk of these nickels coming from the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints. The following is a breakdown of mintage totals by each mint.

  • Philadelphia (P): 271,165,000
  • Denver (D): 15,294,000
  • San Francisco (S): 104,060,000

In comparison to earlier years' nickels, the mint mark on 1943 nickels is more prominent. This made it easier for the mints to sort the coins. This more prominent mint mark was placed on the reverse of the coin, right beneath the “E Pluribus Unum” and directly above the Monticello design that served as the principal image.

The Value of the 1943 Nickel

The Value Of The 1943 Nickel

Like other coins, the main factors affecting the value of the 1943 nickel are its condition, rarity, and demand. The silver content is also a major factor, as 1943 nickels were made of an alloy of 35% silver, 56% copper, and 9% manganese. Older nickels had up to 90% silver, making them more valuable.

Based on its silver content, the 1943 coin is worth around $1 in melt value. There should be at least a dollar's worth of value in your 1943 coin, regardless of how worn it is. War nickels are in high demand among collectors; therefore, even if there is a lot of supply, they can fetch a premium above the silver content in the coin. Each of the three 1943 Nickel mint varieties is worth $2.5 to $3 if it is in excellent condition, but the value will depend on how rare it is. The value of a 1943 nickel in the uncirculated condition is normally around $6–$7, with the best-grade examples fetching $20 or more.

The following table shows the value of the 1943 nickel based on the grade of the coin:

Coin MS 55-59 MS 60 MS 61-64 MS 65 MS 66+
1943-P $2.5-$3 $6-$7 $10-$15 $20 $300+
1943-S $2.5-$3 $6-$7 $10-$15 $20 $300+
1943-D $3 $7-$9 $12-$18 $20-$22 $300+

The Value Of 1943 Nickel Error Coins

Error coins are coins that contain mistakes made during the minting process. Due to their rarity, error coins can be extremely valuable and sought after by coin collectors. The following are some of the valuable error coins of 1943 nickel:

1943 Nickel Struck 10% Off-Centre

1943 Nickel Struck 10% Off-Centre

This error is primarily caused by the planchet—the disc of metal blanked out to form a coin—failing to properly enter the striking chamber of the press. When the planchet shifts between the die strikes, it causes a misalignment of the design elements. A nickel with this exact error, dated 1943, was recently sold for $170.

1943 Nickel D/D RPM Error

1943 Nickel D-D RPM Error

Before to the year 1989, a hand-held instrument was used to punch the mint mark into each coin. This includes the War Nickels with the extra-large mint markings. It is possible to acquire a double or triple mistake if the coin moves slightly between punching strikes. Re-punched mint marks (RPMs) are worth $200 in MS 66 5FS condition.

1943 Nickel DDO Doubled-Eye Error

1943 Nickel DDO Doubled-Eye Error

Jefferson's eye is the best example of a DDO (double-die obverse). Only Philadelphia Silver Nickels contain the doubled-eye and 1943/2 errors. In MS 67, it is $840, and in MS 67 FS, it is $5,405. Another sample brought in more than $16,675.

What Makes a 1943 Nickel Rare?

Makes a 1943 Nickel Rare

There aren't many 1943 nickels around since the metal was so crucial to the war effort that the U.S. Mint was ordered to stop utilizing it in coin manufacture. Several 1943 nickels were mistakenly struck using leftover nickel planchets, although most were made of a silver-colored alloy. This coin was made of nickel alloy, and only around 20 are thought to still be in existence.

Bottom Line

This 1943 nickel value guide has provided a comprehensive overview of the value of these coins, from their historical significance to the current market value of an average coin. While the value of a 1943 nickel varies depending on its rarity and condition, it is important to remember that each coin has its own unique story.

With a little research, you can discover the history and value of your particular 1943 nickel. Whether you are a collector or investor, the 1943 nickel is a great addition to any collection.

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