Did you know that Felix Schlag designed the 1964 Nickel to replace the Indian head cent? Felix’s artwork for the coin won the first slot among contenders and earned him $1,000 in awards.
The coin weighs five grams, comprises 25% nickel and 75% copper, and is popular among collectors. Whether investing or collecting, learning about the coin’s history, worth, and features is crucial.
Are you ready to discover the factors that determine the 1964 nickel’s value and what they are worth in today’s market? Let’s dig into the details.
1964 Nickel Value: An Overview
The 1964 Jefferson Nickel is a coin of significant numismatic interest due to its historical context and the large number minted. In 1964, the United States faced a coin shortage, leading to a freeze on the date marked on coins.
This resulted in some 1964 nickels being struck as late as 1966. Over 2 billion 1964 and 1964-D nickels were produced, making them some of the most common in the series.
Despite their prevalence, certain rarities and varieties stand out, particularly those with Full Steps (5FS or 6FS) designation. These select coins can command high values among collectors and enthusiasts.
Factors Influencing Value:
Mint Marks: The 1964 nickels were minted in Philadelphia (no mint mark) and Denver (D). The Philadelphia issue had over 1 billion coins minted, while Denver produced even more.
Condition and Grade: The coin’s condition significantly affects its value. Coins in mint state or with Full Steps (5FS or 6FS) are particularly sought after. The grading scale used by numismatists categorizes coins from circulated conditions to mint states, with values ranging significantly.
Special Strikes and Errors: Certain rare errors and special strike coins, like the 1964 Jefferson Nickel Specimens discovered in the 1990s, are highly prized. Error coins from this year, due to the rush in production, are also of particular interest to collectors.
Common Circulated Coins: The majority of 1964 nickels, due to their high mintage, are worth little over their face value in circulated conditions.
Mint State and Full Steps Coins: These coins can range significantly in value, from a few dollars to several thousand, especially for those in pristine condition or with the Full Steps designation.
Special Varieties and Errors: Certain errors or specially struck coins from 1964 can fetch high prices at auctions, reflecting their rarity and unique place in numismatic history.
Collectibility and Significance:
The 1964 Jefferson Nickel stands as a testament to the era’s coinage challenges and the Mint’s response to a national coin shortage.
Its high mintage makes it a common find, but the quest for those rare high-grade or error coins keeps collectors on the lookout. Whether for historical appreciation, a love for numismatics, or investment, the 1964 Nickel holds a place in many collections.
1964 Nickel History
The United States Mint began the production of Jefferson Nickel coins on October 3, 1938, in San Francisco, Denver, and Philadelphia. Back in the day, manufacturers used Nickel as an essential component to produce armored tanks and weapons, which led to hoarding.
However, the US congress introduced a policy that reduced Nickel content on Jefferson currencies as temporary measures. The government wanted to design a coin with Thomas Jefferson’s portrait and stately home.
Although 390 artists contested, Felix Schlag‘s design for the famous coin won. As a result, the US Mint made Jefferson coins with silver, manganese, and copper.
The coin made history in 1964 as the US mint released over 1 billion to cover the silver coins shortage in circulation. Unlike the 1950s, the 1964 Nickel is of higher quality with a sharp, soft appearance.
1964 Nickel Coin Features
Are you a new investor or collector wondering what makes the 1964 nickel unique? The coin has an obverse, reverse, and slogans – we’ll explore each in detail below.
The 1964 Nickel coin has an obverse side with a portrait of America’s founding father, President Thomas Jefferson. The picture has Jefferson’s left shoulder touching the coin’s lower edge with “IN GOD WE TRUST” words inscribed on his chest.
The inscription runs clockwise from his chest towards his upper hairline while the coin’s upper margin almost touches his head.
Although the date (1964) and “LIBERTY” inscription are behind the former US president, a five-point star separates them. The words run clockwise along the right margin.
The frontline view of President Thomas Jefferson’s stately home, also called “MONTICELLO,” is on the coin’s reserve. Another inscription in the section is the “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” reading clockwise towards the reverse upper margin.
Meanwhile, the phrase MONTICELLO appears under Jefferson’s home in a straight line with the coin’s denomination.
The 1964 Nickel’s denomination “FIVE CENTS” appears in a curve under MONTICELLO. Lastly, the reserve has an inscription of the “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” running counterclockwise down the bottom.
There are various symbolic slogans on the 1964 Nickel coin, similar to previous years. Learning the meaning of these slogans will help you properly value the asset if you have one.
The following slogans are on display if you look closely at this rare coin:
MONTICELLO: It is a phrase that originated from Italy and means mound (little mountain). The Italian architectural design of the stately President’s home near Charlottesville, Virginia, is the inspiration behind the word.
IN GOD, WE TRUST: This phase is commonly used by religious believers worldwide and shared by some sections in America. It is also a motto that Florida State shares with the United States.
LIBERTY: Liberty means freedom, which the United States primarily emphasizes despite the past global and civil wars. Liberty is the foundation of the US government, differentiating the country from the world.
E PLURIBUS UNUM: The Latin phrase means “the emergence of a single nation” or “out of many, one.” It confirms the Great Seal of the United States and how 50 states formed one nation.
Mint marks are an identification feature of the 1964 Nickel coin and other models. Every reverse side of Jefferson’s coin from 1938-1964 has visible mint marks.
You’ll see the mark on the coin’s right side, close to the former President’s home inscriptions. The coin’s most visible mark is the “D,” which represents Denver.
The 1964 Nickel coin has a silver appearance with a composite metal piece. Although it contains 25% nickel and 75% copper, it also has a 21.2 mm diameter. Lastly, the coin has a smooth edge and weighs five grams.
Factors That Determine the 1964 Nickel Value
High-value coins are in-demand as collectors are looking to complete their Jefferson series. There are specific requirements that determine your 1964 Nickel coin value, including:
The steps are a grading designated for the 1964 Nickel coin with five visible steps at the Monticello reserve base. Keep in mind that contact marks or strike weaknesses may reduce the quality of your assets.
Coins with five steps and without minting defects are in perfect condition, and usually, many collectors prefer them. Unfortunately, 1964 Nickel coins with complete steps are rare.
Therefore, coins in exceptional conditions values will be higher than their traditional value.
The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) represent full steps with the “FS” abbreviation.
Collectors value 1964 Nickel coins in excellent condition with top-grade features. And you may not earn substantial profits on coins in poor conditions.
Grading companies value coins based on the following guidelines:
If your 1964 Nickel coins are uncirculated, collectors value them at the topmost level. These coins are in circulation for a limited time and show no degrading signs despite changing hands.
Collectors value your coins if they appear fresh from mint and retain their features. They check the low and high areas of the coins, including the luster, texture, and tone. If they’re all consistent, your coin’s value may be higher.
Collectors may consider your coin extremely fine, even with minor surface scratches. You may get a high value if the coin has dull high points but with bright color and smooth cheeks. It’s best if the scratches or damage are visible only when checked with a magnifying glass through close examination.
A 1964 Nickel coin with visible surface wear signs and a longer circulation time may be in fine condition. Collectors consider it acceptable if Jefferson’s hair on the coin has no strands and appears smooth.
If your coin has dents, scratches, and discoloration due to handling and wide circulation, collectors may consider it good. However, the chances of getting a high value on coins in this state are low as most collectors may decline it.
Valuable Minting Error
Like other coins, there may be some minting errors on the 1964 Nickels. For example, the coin error may include double or triple dies, repunched mint marks, and missing dates. Coins with minting errors may fetch hundreds to thousands of dollars.
1964 Nickel Value Today
The approximate value of the 1964 Nickel coin in the market today is five cents. However, its worth may vary depending on the condition and mint errors. High-grade coins with full steps (coins that tick all five grading steps) may bring profits from $20 to $15,000 or more.
These coins are incredibly rare, and collectors are willing to pay top dollar. So, it’s always a good idea to have your coins evaluated by an expert before selling them. Additionally, the current market demand for these coins affects their value. It’s best to keep an eye on market trends to ensure you get the best price for your 1964 Nickels.
Mint state 1964 Nickels without minting errors can fetch a value of around $0.15 to $500, depending on their condition and the demand from collectors. It is not as valuable as coins with minting errors or full steps, but it can still bring in some profit for coin collectors.
Scarce assets like the 1964 SMS variant, the 1964-D over D mint mark, and the 1964 double die can bring in $8,000 or more. These errors occurred during the minting process, and they are rare finds for collectors.
The worth of 1964 Nickels varies greatly based on their condition and any minting errors present. It would be best to have your coins evaluated by an expert before selling them to get the best price for your collection.
How Much Is the Metal in 1964 Nickel Worth?
The value of the metal (copper) in the 1964 Nickel coin series is approximately $0.0339, and the Nickel is $0.0227. The overall melt value is $0.0567 for each 1964 Nickel coin. However, the actual worth of these coins goes beyond their metal value as they are considered collectibles.
Evaluate Your 1964 Nickel
Now that you understand the history, features, and valuation factors of the 1964 Nickel, it’s time to determine your coin’s value. First, check whether your coin is from Denver or Philadelphia by looking at the mint marks.
If your coin has no mint mark on the reverse, it is from Philadelphia. But if you can see the “D” mint mark when checking the reverse, you have a coin made in Denver. Check for marks, errors, surface scratches, color, and smooth cheeks. Your coins are rare if they are without minting defects and in perfect condition.
Beyond that, seek expert evaluation to grade and confirm your coin’s worth. And find a reputable coin dealer or numismatist to ensure you get the best price for your 1964 Nickel.