VarietyPlus » Jefferson Nickels (1938 to date)

Jefferson Nickels (1938 to date)

Though a popular design even in its own time, the Indian Head/Buffalo Nickel was tough on dies, and the U. S. Mint was eager to replace it with something more practical as soon as its statutory production of 25 years had been achieved. An open competition for a coin depicting Thomas Jefferson and his self-designed home, Monticello, was won by Felix Schlag. Only his obverse was used, however, as the Mint substituted an elevation view of the house in place of Schlag’s dramatic perspective. Again, the primary concern was practicality and maximizing die life.

Coined in very large numbers from its inception, the Jefferson Nickel series includes no rarities within the normal date/mint entries. There are condition rarities, however, particularly with respect to coins being fully struck. For certain issues, Jefferson Nickels displaying fully wrought steps on Monticello are all but unknown and command significant premiums. Only recently has this series gained much popularity with date/mint collectors, with a particular emphasis being placed on such top quality pieces.

The variety collector will find many items of interest in this long-running series. A great number of repunched mintmarks are known, though many are detectable only with magnification. Of more widespread popularity are the 1943/2-P overdate, the D/S and S/D varieties and several prominent doubled dies.

NGC will attribute the most important varieties in the series described in VarietyPlus. These include most of those listed in The Cherrypickers’ Guide, as well as selected ones from the references listed below.

Denom.MS/PFDateFee*NGC LabelVarietyPlusCONECAFivaz-Stanton (NEW)Fivaz-Stanton (OLD)
5CMS1938 DDO$15FS-1101  DDO-002 FS-021
5CMS1938 QDO$15FS-1105 VP-001DDO-005 FS-021.5
5CMS1939 REV OF 38-     
5CMS1939 DDR REV OF 40$15FS-801 VP-001DDR-001 FS-022
5CMS1939 QDR REV OF 40$15FS-802 VP-002DDR-002 FS-022.5
5CMS1939 D REV OF 38-     
5CMS1939 D DDO REV OF 38$15VP-001  DDO-001  
5CMS1939 D REV OF 40-     
5CMS1939 S REV OF 38-     
5CMS1941 D/D$15FS-501  RPM-003 FS-024.3
5CMS1941 S SMALL S$15     
5CMS1941 S SMALL S$15INVERTED S   FS-503FS-024.6
5CMS1941 S LARGE S$15   FS-501FS-024.5
5CMS1942 NICKEL-     
5CMS1942 DDO NICKEL$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-002 FS-025
5CMS1942 DDO NICKEL$15FS-102 VP-002DDO-003 FS-026
5CMS1942 D/HORIZ D$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-001 FS-027
5CMS1943/2 P- VP-001DDO-003FS-101FS-028
5CMS1943 P DDO$15FS-106 VP-002DDO-006 FS-029
5CMS1943 P DDO$15VP-003  DDO-013  
5CMS1943 P/P$15VP-004  RPM-014  
5CMS1943 D/D$15VP-001  RPM-001  
5CMS1944 D/D$15VP-001  RPM-004  
5CMS1945 P/P$15VP-006  RPM-005  
5CMS1945 P DDR$15FS-801 VP-001DDR-001 FS-030
5CMS1945 P DDR$15FS-803 VP-002DDR-003 FS-030.3
5CMS1945 P/P/P TDR$15FS-804 VP-003RPM-001, DDR-004 FS-030.5
5CMS1945 P TDR$15FS-804 LDS  TDR-004  
5CMS1945 P DDR$15VP-005  DDR-007  
5CMS1945 D/D/D$15VP-001  RPM-001  
5CMS1946 D/INVERT D$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-002 FS-031
5CMS1946 S DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-031.5
5CMS1949 D/S$15FS-501 VP-001OMM-001 FS-032
5CMS1954 D/D$15FS-501  RPM-003  
5CMS1954 S/D$15FS-501 VP-001OMM-001 FS-033
5CMS1954 S/S$15FS-502 VP-002RPM-001 FS-033.1
5CMS1955 D/S-     
5CMS1955 D/S$15FS-501 VP-001OMM-001 FS-034
5CMS1956 QDR$15FS-801 VP-001DDR-018 FS-035.2
5CMS1956 TDR$15FS-802 VP-002DDR-024 FS-035.6
5CMS1963 TDR$15FS-801 VP-001DDR-080 FS-037.3
5CMS1964 D/D$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-005 FS-037.5
5CMS2004 P HANDSHAKE$15DDO FS-101  DDO-001  
5CPF1940 REV OF 38-     
5CPF1940 REV OF 40-     
5CPF1942 NICKEL-     
5CPF1942 P SILVER-     
5CPF1951 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-032.5
5CPF1953 DDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-001 FS-032.7
5CPF1955 TDR$15FS-801 VP-001DDR-001 FS-035
5CPF1956 DDO$15FS-102  DDO-002 FS-035.4
5CPF1957 QDO$15FS-101 VP-001DDO-004 FS-035.8
5CPF1960 QDR$15FS-801 VP-001DDR-001 FS-036
5CPF1961 TDR$15FS-801 VP-001DDR-013 FS-037
5CSP1964 -     
5CPF1968 S/S$15FS-501 VP-001RPM-002 FS-038
5CPF1971 NO S-     
5CPF1981 S TYPE 1-     
5CPF1981 S TYPE 2-     
5CPF1990 S DDO$15VP-001  DDO-001  
5CSP1994 P-     
5CSP1997 P-     

* In order to have the above varieties requiring the $15 fee designated by NGC, VarietyPlus service must be requested at time of grading. VarietyPlus service is also available for coins already encapsulated by NGC. For coins where the fee column is blank, no VarietyPlus charge is required to have your coin designated during grading. For coins marked $15, a $15 surcharge applies to the tier fee during grading, or a $15 fee applies to have the VarietyPlus designation added to any coin already graded and encapsulated by NGC.
Fivaz, Bill & J.T. Stanton. The Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare Die Varieties, 5th Edition, Volume 1. Whitman Publishing, Atlanta, 2009
Nagengast, Bernard A. The Jefferson Nickel Analyst. E & T Kointainer, 2002
Wexler, John A. & Brian Ribar. The Best of the Jefferson Nickel Doubled Die Varieties. Stanton Publishing, Savannah, GA, 2002
Wiles, James. The Jefferson Nickel RPM Book. CONECA, 2000
Wiles, James. The Jefferson Nickel RPM Book Update. CONECA, 2003