We are pleased to offer for sale this Jefferson Silver War Nickel (1942 - 1945). This Jefferson Silver War Nickel coin is circulated and will grade Good or better. These Jefferson War Nickels are nice original coins and represent a great value for the price. You will receive one Jefferson War Nickel. Dates and/or mint marks are mixed and selected at random. These War Nickels are comprised of 56% Copper, 35% Silver, and 7 % Manganese. These silver coins were issued from 1942 through 1945 from the Philadelphia (P), Denver (D), and San Francisco (S) Mints to conserve nickel which was needed for military armor in World War II.
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Starting with its very first year of issue, the Buffalo Nickel proved a troublesome coin to mint. There were issues with how quickly the coin wore down in circulation, how quickly the dies used to mint the coin needed to be replaced, and even its use in vending machines. It was of little surprise then, that the Treasury Department was eager to move to a new design for the nickel as soon as the obligatory 25 year minting of the Buffalo Nickel had passed. In early 1938, both the last year of the Buffalo Nickel and the first of the new design, the Treasury Department decided that the new nickel should commemorate Thomas Jefferson. An open competition was then held for interested artists and sculptors to create the new design. The requirements were simple. The obverse would feature a portrait of Jefferson, and the reverse would have an image of Monticello, Jefferson's historic estate. Additionally, the other standard requirements for all U.S. currency must be included: the year of issue, motto IN GOD WE TRUST, the word LIBERTY, and the denomination FIVE CENTS. The winner of the competition was Felix Schlag, though his image of Monticello was changed from a corner view to a full front view and other features of his original design were modified prior to release.
In October 1938, the Mint began producing the first Jefferson Nickels. The initial composition was 75% copper and 25% nickel, though this was changed during World War II. The war efforts required nickel for military armor, so in 1942 the U.S. Mint began minting nickels in 56% copper, 35% silver, and 7% manganese. These Silver War Nickels were minted from 1942 through 1945. These Silver Jefferson Nickels could be distinguished from the other circulating nickels by the enlarged mintmark that was placed above the dome of Monticello, instead of to its right. Interestingly, this was the first instance of a "P" mintmark being used to designate coins produced in Philadelphia. In 1946, after the end of hostilities, the Mint returned the composition to the original mix of copper and nickel which remains in place today. The mintmark was also returned to the pre-war style.
From 1966 through 2002 the mint made only very minor modifications to the design of the Jefferson Nickel. However, the 2003 American Five-Cent Coin Continuity Act provided for the creation of new designs to be minted from 2004 through 2006. These special nickels would commemorate the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. These nickels were referred to as the "Westward Journey Nickel Series." The 2004 nickel had the original obverse designed by Schlag with both the "Peace Medal" reverse, designed by Norman E. Nemeth, and the "Keelboat" reverse, designed by Al Maletsky. The 2005 nickel had a new portrait of Jefferson on the obverse, designed by Joe Fitzgerald, and reverses featuring the "American Bison," designed by Jamie Franki, and "Ocean in View", designed by Joe Fitzgerald. In 2006 the final Westward Series Nickel, "Return to Monticello" featured Schlag's original depiction of Monticello on the reverse and a new portrait of Jefferson designed by Jamie Franki on the obverse. This design remains in production today. Jefferson Nickels have been, and continue to be, issued by the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints.