Coinflation: Silver war nickel value and coin price
  Measuring the Metal Value of Coins – Base Metal, Gold, and Silver Coins

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1942-1945 Jefferson Silver Nickel Melt Value

1942 - 1945 Silver Jefferson Nickel Value (United States)

Obverse Image:Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence.
Reverse Image:Monticello, Jefferson's mountaintop home in Virgina.
Metal Composition:35% silver, 56% copper, 9% manganese
Total Weight:5.00 grams
Comments:World War II prompted the rationing of many commodities. Nickel was highly valued for use in armor plating, and Congress ordered the removal of this metal from the five-cent piece, effective October 8, 1942. From that date, and lasting through the end of 1945, five-cent pieces bore the regular design but were minted from an alloy of copper, silver and manganese. It was anticipated that these emergency coins would be withdrawn from circulation after the war, so a prominent distinguishing feature was added. Coins from all three mints bore very large mintmarks above the dome of Monticello, and the letter 'P' was used as a mintmark for the first time on a U. S. coin. [ ? ]

Using the latest metal prices and the specifications above, these are the numbers required to calculate melt value:
 $17.38  =silver price / ounce on Oct 20, 2014.
.35  =silver %
 $2.9978  =copper price / pound on Oct 20, 2014.
.56  =copper %
$2300.0000  =manganese price / ton on Oct 20, 2014.
.09  =manganese %
5.00  =total weight in grams
.0321507466  =ounce/gram conversion factor
.00220462262  =pound/gram conversion factor
1.0 × 10-6  =metric ton/gram conversion factor (see note directly below)

The CME uses pounds to price copper and that means we need to multiply the metal price by .00220462262 to make the conversion to grams. The silver price is based in troy ounces and that means we need to multiply the metal price by .0321507466 to make the conversion to grams. The manganese price is based in metric tons and that means we need to multiply the metal price by 1.0 × 10-6 to make the conversion to grams.

1. Calculate 35% silver value :

    (17.38 × .0321507466 × 5.00 × .35)  =  $.9778649578

$.9778 is the rounded silver value for the 1942-1945 silver nickel on October 20, 2014. This is usually the value used by coin dealers when selling these coins at melt value. However, the total melt value is continued below.

2. Calculate 56% copper value :

    (2.9978 × .00220462262 × 5.00 × .56)  =  $0.0185049

3. Calculate 9% manganese value :

    (2300.0000 × (1.0 × 10-6) × 5.00 × .09)  =  $.001035

4. Add the three together :

    $.9778649578 + $0.0185049 + $.001035 = $.9974048578

$.9974048578 is the total melt value for the 1942-1945 silver nickel on October 20, 2014.

  ← Calculate coin worth using your own quantity and silver price values.

The "Year" column lists the year and mint mark on the coin -- D is for Denver, S is for San Francisco, and P is for Philadelphia. A coin without a mint mark means it was also minted in Philadelphia. The "Mintage" column is the number of coins struck and released by the U.S. Mint. The "Numismatic Value Range" column represents what people typically pay for that type of coin (usually a very wide price range depending on the condition).

YearMintageNumismatic Value Range
1942 P57,873,000$1.25 - $95.00
1942 S32,900,000$1.25 - $150.00
1943 P271,165,000$1.10 - $120.00
1943 D15,294,000$1.25 - $1100.00
1943 S104,060,000$1.25 - $200.00
1943/2 Punknown$30.00 - $1265.00
1944 P119,150,000$1.25 - $500.00
1944 D32,309,000$1.25 - $300.00
1944 S21,640,000$1.25 - $900.00
1945 P119,408,100$1.00 - $300.00
1945 D37,158,000$1.25 - $500.00
1945 S58,939,000$1.25 - $400.00

If you're interested in learning more about grading coins, Photograde is an excellent resource.

I believe that the old saying, "A coin is only worth what someone will pay for it," is absolutely true. I prefer eBay because it displays what people are actually paying for coins. Monthly coin price magazines and online price lists may not reflect current market conditions because they don't demonstrate what people are actually willing to pay.

View all silver "War" Nickel auctions or those with the least time left (below).

Long-term metal price charts for the silver "war" nickel:

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