Jefferson Nickels - APMEX offers a superb selection of nickels. Released in 1938, the Jefferson Nickelis the only current U.S. coin to be made in its original composition. Honoring Thomas Jefferson, the country’s third president, the nickel is a familiar coin to many generations of Americans.
History of the Jefferson Nickel
In 1938 Felix Schlag designed the nickel and won $1,000 for his efforts. His effort was selected over the submissions of 390 other artists. During World War II, the composition of the coins was changed to copper, silver and manganese so that nickel could be used to satisfy the demands for war materials.
The most interesting period in the history of the Jefferson Nickel arrived with the hardships of World War II. During the war effort, nickel was needed for armor plating, so the United States Mint was directed to make five-cent pieces out of any other metal in the service of public interest. What are now commonly called War Nickels are a popular Junk Silver product valued for their 35% Silver composition. Even a minimally trained eye can pick out the lustrous quality of Silver on these nickels. Those who compile Silver for its own sake like the difference offered by a 35% Silver coin, and value its 0.0563 of an ounce actual Silver weight.
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