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How Much Is 1943 Nickel Worth?

The 1943 nickel was very popular even around the time it was produced andmany collectors still admire it for its interesting history and materials used in its mint.

Now imagine the value of a coin with high demand right from production to several decades after. Of course, it will be a worthy piece to any collector. But just how valuable will it be?

If you’re wondering how much a 1943 nickel will go for now worth? Keep on reading this article as we have covered this and many more.

The 1943 Nickel

The 1943 Nickel

Source: Dave Collectible Coins

The 1943 nickel is considered a historic relic. Asides from featuring the Striking profile of one of the founding fathers Thomas Jefferson, this coin bears some historical significance for its time. Not to mention the materials that production facilities used to mint it.

To understand why collectors seek the 1943 nickel, you must first know the history.


The 1943 nickel is a subset of the Jefferson nickels. They were minted between 1943-1945 during America’s involvement in the second world war, which earned them (the 1943 nickel) a very astute name; wartime nickels, or simply war nickels as people usually called them.

The  1943 nickel was minted to conserve nickel, an essential material to the war efforts. That’s why the war nickels have the composition of 56% copper, 9% manganese, and 35% silver (the ingredient that accounts for it being so valuable in today’s market).

You might be wondering how dealers and collectors can distinguish between this historical relic and a regular ol nickel. Well, for starters, no two coins are the same as there is bound to be some difference between each one.

The trick to distinguishing them is straightforward. All you need to do is flip the coin to the tail side, and there you’ll have a significant mint mark over the dome that indicates where the coin was minted (Philadelphia, Denver, or San Francisco).

This way, collectors know they’re paying for the real deal, not a cheap copy.


Like most coins, they can be classified based on mint marks. And no, these classification doesn’t necessarily mean that they look different. As any collector will tell you, you’ll probably be unable to tell them apart at first glance.

However, upon closer inspection, you’ll notice the mintmark that distinguishes the coins, the major difference. The mintmark is indicative of the minting factory where that particular coin was minted.

Many collectors try to obtain every mintmark variety. The 1943 nickel had just three mints; Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver.

These mint factories are indicated by the first letters of their names S, P, and D.

All these mints are very close in value except for the Denver mints. This is because the 1943 nickels minted in Denver had low mintage numbers and are rarer than those minted in San Francisco and Philadelphia.

Regardless, all 1943 nickels are of high value for their history and, of course, their silver constituents.

1943-S Jefferson nickel

1943-S Jefferson nickel

Initially, San Francisco wasn’t producing as many coins as the other mints, but this changed in 1943 when it minted over a million nickels in one year.

Even though they are large in numbers, they’re still a great find and make an essential piece in any collection.

The S mint mark above the dome of Monticello indicates a San Francisco mint.

1943-P Jefferson nickel

1943-P Jefferson nickel

Philadelphia contributed the largest number of the 1943 nickel, about twice as much as San Francisco.

Philadelphia nickels are very abundant and the most likely to be found.

This doesn’t dispute their value as they’re just as renowned as the others.

The mintage for the 1943-P Jefferson nickel produced has the highest quality. That means they are more likely to be found in better condition than the others.

It’s worth noting that there are two variations of the 1943-P Jefferson nickel; the double eye and the overdate.

One features a bust of Jefferson facing the left, and the other shows the Monticello, Jefferson’s famous residence.

You can always recognize the 1943-P nickel by the letter P above the dome of the Monticello.

1943-D Jefferson nickel

1943-D Jefferson nickel

Finally, as we mentioned previously, the Denver mints produced the least amount of the silver mint series. Making them the rarest and sought after from all three. With less than 20 million mints produced, it is the fewest variety minted during the silver era.

Finding them in good condition can be challenging, and inspecting the Denver mints usually takes longer. They are indicated by the letter D mint marks above the dome of Monticello.

Lightly worn mints constitute a significant collector’s find and can be challenging to locate.

Unique features (How to identify them)

The 1943 nickels minted in all three locations are similar in appearance and almost indistinguishable at first glance. However, when you inspect them further, it’s easier to tell the unique features that distinguish them from each other.

  • The 1943-S Jefferson nickel (San Francisco mint) can be identified by the letter S mintmark that is above the Monticello on the tail side of the coin
  • The 1943-P Jefferson nickel (Philadelphia mint) can be identified by the letter P that is above the Monticello on the tail side of the coin.
  • The 1943-D Jefferson nickel (Denver mint) can be identified by the letter D above the Monticello on the coin’s tail side.

However, there was a slight defect on the 1943-P Jefferson nickel mints that collectors and appraisers now referred to as the 1943 p nickel defect.

It formed the doubled die on the observe side, and it’s one of the three major doubled die coins in the Jefferson nickels series.

Regardless of mintmark, all 1943 nickels are of the silver alloy variety and are of high value because of the current silver prices.

How Rare is a 1943 Nickel?

When it comes to the rarity of the 1943 nickel, it mostly depends on where they were minted to begin with.

  • In San Francisco, The 1943-S Jefferson nickel struck fewer coins compared to others. However, it quickly picked up in production Making it the second rarest of the three.
  • Philadelphia produced the most coins out of all three of the mints. This makes the 1943-P Jefferson nickel the most common to find in fine condition.
  • The rarest of the bunch are the 1943-D Jefferson nickel. Denver produced the least amount of coins than all three of the other mints. That’s why the 1943-D Jefferson nickel is the most uncommon to find in fine condition.

How Much is Your 1943 Nickel Worth?

In a similar way the coins are different or come in different mints, so also their worth will be different depending on their mint or rarity.

But sometimes, coins might also fetch for a similar price as it’s more common countertop.

Grading Conditions

Determining grading conditions of your 1943 nickel can get tricky. Grading refers to the process of determining the surface quality of a coin. Iit’s an integral process and it can’t be skipped.

Certain areas on the coin indicate the level of wear and determine the grade condition .

When you want to find out the grade condition of your 1943 nickel, use a single light source to  examine the portrait of Thomas Jefferson. You can also use a grade reference picture to ensure you’re on the right track.

There are four main categories that determine the grading conditions of your coin:

  • Good condition
  • Fine condition
  • Extremely fine condition
  • Uncirculated

Good condition

This is actually the lowest category a coin can belong to. Of course describing something of low quality as being “good” does sound counterintuitive. In this condition heavy wear has flattened all the finer details on Jefferson’s face making the entire portrait feel smooth to touch.

All that you’re left with is a flat area that extends from the top of his head to under his ear. The flatness across the nickel connects in many areas.

Fine condition

Fine condition is less worn than the good grade nickels.

Here, some of the finer details are still present, however, the flat areas on the coin are still very visible and prevalent across the coins surface. However unlike in the good grade, the flat areas don’t connect to one another. This means this grade won’t feel completely smooth to touch.

You can still feel the lines that define jefferson’s structure on the coin but you won’t notice the finer details like small lines that indicate the strands on his hair.

Extremely fine condition

Although this grade still shows signs of wear, it’s very minimal in comparison to the others.

The sign of wear is isolated to the higher points of Jefferson’s features like the top of his hair.

You can still notice a bit of the hair strands and the discontinuous flatness of the coin might feel.

Uncirculated/mint state

The uncirculated/mint state coins are the “ideal” state of the coin. This means, the coin never left the mint nor was it used by the public.

All details are present in this voin and there’s zero sign of wear.

The design is still very much visible; from the contour on his cheek, the lines at the top of his hair that indicate hair strands and the hair that falls behind his ear.

Uncirculated coins maintain their original mint texture and luster.

1943 Nickel Value

The worth of the coin is mostly determined by the grade condition with uncirculated coins getting the best prices.

Due to their lack of wear and the clear visible lines that indicate the original design and detail of Thomas Jefferson, uncirculated coins in mint condition are prone to fetch at a higher price.

That’s not to say your coin in a good condition won’t do well, only that it will be less likely to be placed at a higher value.

Extremely fine
1943 P nickel value
1943 D nickel value
1943 S nickel value

Where to Sell Your 1943 Nickel

If you possess any type of the 1943 nickel, you’d want to get the best value for your coin.

Luckily for you, you have lots of options to choose from. From stores both online and in real life, and live auctions, you have more than enough options to ensure you’re getting the best value from your going.

You might get the best value for your coin at live auctions but the other options also work just as good.

Wrapping Up

Basically, the 1943 nickel was made in a time of necessity when nickel had to be conserved towards the war efforts. Silver was used as a substitute and in today’s market, it makes it even higher in value.

Regardless of where it was minted, the value of the coin remains pretty much the same especially of its lightly worn or in perfect mint condition.

The 1943 nickel is a historic relic. Asides from the price of silver now, it’s a time piece of a crucial part of history. If you find yourself in possession of such a gem, you can either keep it in your personal collection or sell it. Depending on the grade,you might get good money from it.

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