1942 Nickel Value: D, S, No Mint, and Error

1942 Nickel Value - While not a collector's dream, the 1941 Jefferson nickel is a fascinating coin specimen. It was the final complete pre-World War II coin of the Jefferson nickel series, and its minting occurred during a turbulent period in world history. 

As the nation was engulfed in war and such a comprehensive composition overhaul became a tactical necessity, its whole composition would be changed the following year. 

The ignominious conclusion of the Buffalo nickel's 25-year run at the end of 1937 is where the Jefferson nickel draws its origins from.

Since its inception in 1913, the Buffalo nickel has been the source of numerous universal striking problems, prompting Mint officials to hurry to replace it when its mandated 25-year circulation period expired. 

A public competition to design the new nickel design was announced by the United States Mint in late January 1938, with the first prize of $1,000 awarded to the winner. 

By mid-March, only a few submissions had reached the Mint, indicating that the competition was a failure. That was very deceptive.

The judges reviewed 390 total entries between April 20th and the end of the month, which included a huge influx of submissions. Felix Schlag, a German immigrant, was declared the champion four days later. Schlag, who had won several prizes as a painter in his native Europe, arrived in America just nine years before.

Schlag won $1,000, however, the money was squandered on a funeral after his wife died too soon. A composition of 75% copper and 25% nickel was used in the first Jefferson nickel (and current Jefferson nickel).

Nickel, however, became a vital war commodity for the country's military once the United States entered World War II. On March 27, 1942, Congress authorized a nickel made of half copper and half silver in an attempt to reduce domestic usage of the material.

The Mint was concerned with this particular composition and was given permission to change it, fearing that the alloy would be rejected by counterfeit detectors in vending machines. 

The Mint decided on an alloy of 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese that was utilized from October 1942 until the conclusion of the war in 1945 after working tirelessly to find a compromise. Until after the war, this makes the 1941 Jefferson nickel the last copper-nickel alloy nickel in circulation.

How Much Is A 1942 Nickel Worth

1942 no mint nickel value

When it comes to collector value, the market for circulated 1942 Jefferson nickel value hasn't yet developed, with coins ranging from two to six times face value depending on overall condition. Because there are no more than about 300 million Jefferson nickels minted and circulated, they are unlikely to experience a significant price increase in the near future.

Collector's gems are exclusively found at the top of the grading scale and in proof form for uncirculated 1942 Jefferson nickel value. At least its weight in silver, this coin is worth in circulated condition. On September 11, 2022, the silver melt value of this currency was $1.06. The current silver spot price of $18.84 per ounce is used to calculate this melt value.

-1942 Jefferson Nickel No Mint Mark

In 1942, the Philadelphia mint produced 49,789,000 Jefferson nickels with a normal composition. Due to the absence of the mint mark, like with most coins from this mint, 1942 no mint nickel value pieces are instantly identifiable.

In really nice condition, the 1942 P nickel is worth around $3. The value is around $3.50 in extremely fine condition. Coins with an MS 60 grade are worth around $7 in uncirculated condition. Uncirculated coins with an MS 65 grade might sell for about $20. When a coin is in low grade, you should expect to pay $0.06 to acquire one, whereas a coin with an MS 67 rating will cost you around $160.

-1942 Proof Jefferson Nickel

The Philadelphia Mint produced 29,600 proof nickels in early 1942, making them highly available on the coin market at the time. In PR 65 condition, the 1942 P proof nickel is worth $110. A piece with a PR 60 rating should cost $17.55, whereas one with a PR 68 may cost up to $2,250.

-1942 D Jefferson Nickel

1942 d nickel value

In 1942, the Denver mint produced 13,938,000 nickels. These nickels are normally denoted with the letter D, making it simple to tell them apart from other nickels produced that year. Their price is influenced by their availability on the coin market, as it is with all commodities. A nice specimen costs just $0.05, whereas a coin in MS 67 condition costs around $180. You'll have to pay a little more money for one of those.

-1942-P War Nickel Value

1942 P Jefferson Nickels

In comparison to the copper-nickel alloy versions that were phased out in October of that year, these silver 1942 nickels were manufactured in vast quantities. A total of 57,873,000 coins were produced, and depending on current silver prices, each coin is worth at least 85 cents to $1.25. 

A specimen graded MS67+ Full Steps fetched $5,288, setting a new record price.

-1942-P Proof War Nickel Value

The only issue of the silver five-cent coin that was ever struck in proof format is the 1942-P proof Jefferson war nickel. Beginning in 1943, the United States Mint halted all normal proof coin manufacturing to concentrate on producing circulation coins and war medals. 

Proof coin production was restored in 1950 ( see 1950 Nickel Value ). With 27,600 examples struck in 1942-P proof nickel, it isn't particularly rare, although they are uncommon. 

A normal proof specimen costs around $100, while a Proof-66 specimen with Deep Cameo designation cost over $5,500.

-1942-S War Nickel Value

1942 S Jefferson Nickels Wartime

In extremely fine condition, the 1942 S nickel value is worth around $2.75. The price is around $3.50 and in excellent condition. Coins with an MS 60 grade sell for around $8 in uncirculated condition. Uncirculated coins with a grade of MS 65 may cost around $25.

The 1942-S silver Jefferson war nickel had a respectable total of 32,900,000 pieces despite being produced in smaller numbers than its Philadelphia sibling. 

Worn examples of the Philadelphia battle nickel vary somewhat depending on the current price of silver content, with a typical example selling for perhaps 85 cents to $1.25, in most circumstances. 

An MS67 example with Full Steps details sold for $4,888, setting a new record.

1942 Jefferson Nickel Error List:

if you ask "How rare is a 1942 S nickel? the coin with the error D over horizontal D is one of the rarest nickels from 1942. The mint mark was hit on the working matrix by hand, resulting in this situation. 

These coins are thought to number in the hundreds to thousands. Depending on the state, they may be worth $39 to $11,090.

1942-D D Over Horizontal D Error Nickel Value: One of the most valuable 1942 nickels is this unusual over mint mark variety, in which the final "D mint mark was positioned over a sideways "D," which happened back when the mint marks were punched onto the operating dies. There are perhaps 500 to 1,000 specimens.

1942 D Jefferson Nickels - D Over Horizontal D

In lower circulated grades, this unusual error-variety costs $100 to $200 and sells for $1,500 to $2,000 in uncirculated form. An MS64 example with Full Steps sold for $32,200 as the record price for this error variety.

Learn More About Jefferson Nickel Value Depth:

1940 1947 1954 1961
1941 1948 1955 1962
1942 1949 1956 1963
1943 1950 1957 1964
1944 1951 1958


How to Determine 1942 Jefferson Nickel Value

The pillars of Monticello on the reverse – particularly the second porch pillar from the right of the coin – are a good place to start when grading a circulated 1942 Jefferson nickel on your own.

This pillar is extremely obvious and has an exceptionally crisp line definition at the Very Fine level (VF-20). The worse condition your coin is in, the more deteriorated and undefined this pillar is.

All pillars should be visible, as well as some visibility of the triangle above the pillars, for a circulated coin to achieve a grade of Extremely Fine (EF-40). Jefferson's cheekbone, hairlines, and eyebrows should be worn as little as possible on the obverse.

In uncirculated and proof form, genuine money for 1942 Jefferson nickels comes from Grade 65 or above. Considering grading standards, a coin that is over 80 years old would be difficult to achieve since there should be no trace of wear on the coin, with the exception of minor blemishing. You're looking at a coin with little collector's worth on the open market if your coin isn't approaching or in this state.

1942 Silver Nickel

56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese make up the silver nickels, also known as war nickels. These are both numismatic and silver bullion coins, with equal worth. The mint mark is the simplest technique to distinguish a silver nickel from a non-silver nickel. 

On the back of the coin, above the Monticello picture, is where you'll find the mint mark. 

In addition, the mint mark is bigger on silver nickels with a P or S mint mark. 75% copper and 25% nickel make up the typical Jefferson nickel. A D mint mark is seen on these coins, which have no mint mark.

The number of die errors and gouges floating around is astonishing, with over 300 million 1942 Jefferson nickel produced. The pervasiveness of the mistake and the state of the coin itself have a big impact on the valuation of these. The mint marks above Monticello on the reverse of nickels from 1942 to 1945 are the only exceptions.

It is necessary to determine the type of your 1942 Jefferson nickel before you can determine how much it is worth. Before WWII, the United States Mint produced Jefferson nickels with different compositions. The mint mark, composition, and condition all influence their value.

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