Jefferson’s nickels are still popular amongst coin collectors despite their antique features. However, the challenge lies in finding the best quality that numismatic collectors want. The 1964 Jefferson Nickel coin is one of the coin series designed by Felix Oscar in 1938.
The 1964-nickel value is 5 cents in good condition. The Jefferson Nickel is 75% copper and 25% nickel and has a total melt value of $0.0567. The highest sale for 1964 Jefferson SP68 was $32,900.
This article highlights the history of the Jefferson nickel and its major features. We also have information on how to grade the coin for higher prices that exceed its face value.
What Is 1964 Jefferson Nickel?
It is a five-cent coin issued in 1964 in honor of the late President Thomas Jefferson. The 1964 Jefferson Nickel coin features the portrait of Thomas Jefferson on the obverse and his home Monticello on the reverse. Designed by Felix Schlag in 1938, the Jefferson Nickel replaced the Indian Head cent.
Summary of the 1964 Jefferson Nickel
|Country of Origin||The US|
|Year Of Mintage||1964|
|Denomination/Face value||Five Cents|
|Main Features||Thomas Jefferson Portrait, and his Monticello home on the reverse|
|Alloy (metal)||75% Copper, 25% Nickel|
|Edge type||Smooth (Plain)|
History of the 1964 Jefferson Nickel
The US mints struck the first Jefferson coins on October 3, 1938. They wanted a coin design bearing the portrait of Thomas Jefferson and his stately home, so Schlag won the first slot among other contenders to design the famous coin.
At that time, Nickel was an essential component used in manufacturing weapons such as armored tanks used in the First World War. As a result, there was massive hoarding of Nickel and Jefferson Nickel coins.
As a temporary measure to control the level of Nickel supply, the US congress formulated a policy to have a reduction in Nickel content on Jefferson currencies. Therefore, the US mints used an alloy of copper, manganese, and silver to make Jefferson coins.
In 1964, the Jefferson Nickel series made history because the US mints struck a record 1,000,000,000+ coins. The mints wanted to cover the shortage of silver coins in circulation due to hoarding in the early 1960s.
Reason for Minting
The main reason behind the production of the Jefferson Nickel coin was to honor Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America. He was instrumental in creating a monetary system for the country, hence deserved recognition.
The production of 1964 dated nickel coins was significantly higher than the previous years due to expanded production. Two mints struck the coin in 1964, namely Philadelphia and Denver. The main mint struck 1,028 622,762 coins, while the branch mint at Denver struck 1,797,297,160 Jefferson Nickel coins.
Features of the 1964 Jefferson Nickel
The Jefferson silver is an iconic coin that features several unique features. Below is a video showing the 1964 Jefferson Nickel coin:
The obverse side features a left-facing portrait of Thomas Jefferson at the center of the coin. Jefferson’s head is almost in contact with the coin’s upper margin, while the left shoulder touches the lower edge of the coin. An inscription “IN GOD WE TRUST” runs clockwise from Jefferson’s chest to his upper hairline along the left margin. Behind Thomas Jefferson is an inscription “LIBERTY” and the date (1964), running clockwise along the right margin. A five-point star separates the two words.
The coin’s reverse has a frontline view of the President’s stately home, dubbed “Monticello.” The President designed his physical home using architectural designs from the Italian Renaissance. The home occupies the central part of the obverse face, and below it is an inscription “MONTICELLO” in a straight line of text.
On the upper margin is an inscription “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” reading clockwise. The coin’s denomination (FIVE CENTS) forms a curve beneath the word “MONTICELLO.” Below the coin’s face value is another inscription, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” running clockwise along the lower margin. Interestingly, all Jefferson nickels did not have Schlag’s initials until 1966.
Like other Jefferson nickels, the 1964 series bear symbolic slogans. A closer look at the coin will show the following slogans:
- E PLURIBUS UNUM
It is a Latin phrase that stands for ‘out of many, one. The slogan is an affirmation that the nation of America consists of 50 states that united to form a single nation.
The word Liberty is a founding principle that denotes the freedom enjoyed in the country despite past civil wars and global wars.
- IN GOD WE TRUST
The phrase is a statement widely used to express religious sentiments shared by sections of the people of America.
The word ‘Monticello’ is an Italian phrase that means ‘little mountain’ (mound). The President acquired the name from his Italian architectural design of the home.
The mint mark is an important identification feature that tells the location of the mint responsible for striking the coin. All Jefferson Nickel coins struck between 1938-1964 bear mint marks on the reverse side.
The mint mark appears at the far-right side of the coin, near the President’s Monticello. The most common mint mark on the 1964 Jefferson Nickel is “D” (Denver). However, 1964 Jefferson nickels struck at the Philadelphia mint do not bear a mint mark.
The 1964 Jefferson coin is a composite metal piece with a silver appearance. However, the Jefferson coin has no silver content. It contains 75% copper and 25% nickel. The Jefferson nickel weighs 5 grams and has a diameter of 21.2 mm. In addition, it has a smooth edge.
Value of the 1964 Jefferson Nickel
The 1964 Jefferson Nickel is the most common of all nickel series issued by US mints. It, therefore, retains a five-cent value in all circulated conditions. However, the coin may attract higher values in pristine conditions. Below are some of the coin’s prices at numismatic markets:
The coin has a denominational value of five cents. The value appears on the reverse side, near Monticello.
How Much Is the Metal in 1964 Jefferson Nickel Worth?
The 1964 series of the Jefferson coins have 75% copper and 25% nickel. The copper melt value is $0.0339, while that of Nickel is $0.0227. The coin, therefore, has a melt value of $0.0567. However, melt value is dynamic as it depends on the current spot price for copper and Nickel.
How Much Is the 1964 Jefferson nickel at the Pawnshop?
At the pawnshop, the Jefferson nickels attract a value of 5 cents to 0.50 cents in circulated conditions and $0.27-$8.91 or more in uncirculated conditions. If you have an MS+ Jefferson nickel certified by a professional, it may be worth $43 at an auction.
A proof coin is worth $2 or slightly higher because the main mint struck 3.9 million proof coins in 1964.
Comparison Table Showing the Value of the 1964 Jefferson Nickel:
|Condition||1964||1964 D||Proof (PR 65)|
Factors that Determine the 1964 Jefferson nickel Value
Coin collectors are always looking for high-value coins to complete their Jefferson series. Your coin must meet specific requirements that collectors want to earn higher prices. Below are common factors that determine the value of the 1964 Jefferson Nickel:
It is a special quality characterized by the highest quality of preservation of the steps on the President’s Monticello. A full steps coin has at least five steps of the home in perfect condition, good relief, and no minting defects. A full steps attribute redefines the coin’s value, making it a preference of many coin collectors. 1964 Jefferson Nickel coins having full steps are rare, hence in high demand. If you have one, its value will be ten or more times higher than its traditional value.
Jefferson’s nickels value in condition, and the most preferred are those in excellent condition with new, original features. The top grades of the nickel coins are worth a premium value. Below are the four main guidelines that will help you understand how a grading company will value your coin:
The uncirculated condition is the topmost level of grading of the Jefferson coin. Uncirculated coins have a limited time in circulation and bear no signs of degradation from changing hands. In this state, your Jefferson Nickel should retain its original features and appear fresh from the mint. Taking a closer look at its surface, the high and low areas of the cheeks and mouth are all consistent. They also have an even match of the tone, texture, and luster.
A Jefferson coin in extremely fine condition may have minor scratches on its surface. It has a slight color change and dull high points. The cheeks are smooth, while the raised areas around the mouth and cheeks are now flat. However, the damage should only be visible under a closer examination using a magnifying glass.
A Jefferson coin in fine condition has a longer circulation time with visible signs of surface wear. Most facial features are flat, and the cheeks connect to the eyebrows and the jaws. In addition, Jefferson’s hair appears smooth with no visible hair strands.
These coins have serious defects after wide circulation and frequent handling, including discoloration, scratches, and dents. If your coin is in this state, coin collectors may avoid it.
Valuable Minting Error
Like other denominations, the 1964 Jefferson Nickels may have special minting errors. Some errors include missing dates, re-punched mint marks, and double or triple dies. The value of Jefferson error coins ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars. A classic example is the 1964 Triple die reverse proof coin, 11 copies registered by the PCGS.
1964 Jefferson Nickel Value FAQs
1. Why are there So Many 1964 Jefferson Nickels?
The huge mintage of 1964 Jefferson nickels resulted from massive hoarding of silver, which led to rising silver prices. As a result, the US Congress, through an act, allowed mints to strike nickel coins in 1965 with the date 1964. More nickel coins would help alleviate the shortage of coin circulation experienced then.
2. Which Is the Rarest 1964 Jefferson Nickel?
The 1964 SMS is the rarest Jefferson Nickel coin. It has an extraordinary fine strike, an impressive appearance and is worth $8,750 in MS 65.
3. Which are the Most Valued 1964 Jefferson Nickels?
Some of the most valued nickels exist only in uncirculated conditions, hence their premium prices. They feature an original appearance of their subtle features, including the full steps on the Monticello. They include:
- 1964 SMS FS: valued at $8,625-$32,900
- 1964 FS: valued at $14,100
- 1964 D FS: valued at $6,325
- 1964 SMS: valued at $4,140
- 1964 D/D: valued at $4,015
Winding Up: Is the 1964 Nickel Worth its Value?
The 1964 Jefferson Nickel coin is one of the long-serving nickel series struck by the US mints. Featuring a profile bust of Thomas Jefferson and his palatial Monticello, it is an iconic currency. Although it has a five-cent value, its price is worth thousands of dollars in MS+ conditions. Moreover, if you have a full-step coin with a unique minting error, it fetches higher prices.