The 1941 nickel is an excellent starting point for anyone new to coin collecting. The Jefferson nickel is still in circulation. The 1941 nickel is significant for several reasons and has the potential to become extremely valuable depending on a few factors.
We will teach you everything you need to know about the 1941 nickel value in this article. We will examine its history, design, types, and the various values that this coin can acquire depending on the degree of conservation or where it was minted.
With a clear understanding of how to value a coin, you will be able to not only identify a valuable 1941 coin but also apply that knowledge to the many other coins you can find on the open market.
1941 Nickel Value Chart
|Quality||1941 Philadelphia Nickel Value||1941 San Francisco Nickel Value||1941 Denver Nickel Value|
1941 No Mint Mark Nickel Value
All US coins have the mint mark somewhere on the coin. The mint mark is a minted letter that identifies the mint from which the coin was minted.
The 1941 nickel is no exception, as it was minted in three separate mints. The mints in charge of production that year were in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.
That year, 300,160,720 coins were made, with the Philadelphia Mint producing 203,265,000. There were also 18,720 proof coins produced but never circulated.
Proof coins were previously created to be sold to collectors or given as gifts to various officials and people associated with the current government.
The coin was designed by German artist Felix Schlag, who had recently become a naturalized American after winning a contest to redesign the nickel.
The 1941 nickel is unique in that it was the last coin of its kind to be made of 75% copper and 25% nickel. Because nickel was a valuable commodity on the battlefield at the start of the war, it was phased out of coin production in favor of an amalgamation of silver and other metals.
Finally, it measures 21.2 mm in diameter and weighs 5 grams.
Felix Oscar Schlag, a German immigrant who became an American citizen, designed the obverse of this coin. Schlag took part in a large competition to design the new nickel.
For a time, public competitions were out of the question because presidents like Roosevelt preferred to commission private artists to create the designs.
However, for this coin, a contest was created with a generous prize of $1,000 for the winner. Previously, there had been issues with the prize because it was not high enough, and many artists lost interest in participating. Finally, they settled on the designs of the mint’s internal engravers.
It was assumed that not many artists would participate because there were few works delivered almost until the end of the contest, but hundreds of artists presented their proposals in the final days. There were 390 designs in total.
This was the first time a contest with very specific requirements was held. All of the artists were instructed to create a coin with Thomas Jefferson’s face on the obverse and his plantation, the mythical Monticello house, on the reverse.
Looking to the left, this is how we see Jefferson’s profile. The phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” is written on the left edge of the coin, and the minting date is written on the right.
Many coins usually have the mint mark below the minting date, but this is not the case for the 1941 nickel.
The Monticello is depicted on the reverse of this coin. Many people are unfamiliar with this location and may mistake it for a bookstore or a government agency. At the age of 26, Thomas Jefferson inherited the Monticello plantation from his parents.
It is thought that a portion of the Declaration of Independence was written on Monticello. However, there were several issues with the depiction of President Jefferson’s mythical home.
Several changes were requested by Mint officials. The original design depicted the Monticello from a different angle, with a garden and a palm tree on one side.
The mint officials had had a lot of trouble with the Buffalo Nickel, and part of the reason for changing the coin was to get rid of such a complicated design, so Schlag’s design appeared to them to be a risk.
They requested that Monticello be redrawn from the front, without perspective, in a flat and simple style. They also removed the palm tree, leaving a cold and flat image that was criticized at the time by various artists.
The coin features the Monticello in the center and the phrase “E PLURIBUS UNUM” along the top edge. The phrase is in Latin and means: One of many. This is the classic motto adopted by the coins in the United States.
Below the image is the word MONTICELLO, and below that is the word FIVE CENTS folded parallel with the bottom edge of the coin.
The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA appear on the coin’s bottom edge. If you want to know which mint made your coin, look for a letter on the right side of the Monticello figure. However, the coins minted in Philadelphia do not bear a mint mark, so there is nothing to look for in this case.
The coins minted in Philadelphia do not have a great value which makes them perfect for any beginner who wants to buy their first coins. The value fluctuates between 11 cents and 13 dollars.
1941 D (Denver) Nickel Value
In 1941, the Denver Mint was tasked with producing 53,432,000 coins. Denver coins are distinguished by a “D” mintmark.
To find the mint mark, look on the reverse of the coin for an illustration of Monticello. A letter D should be found on the right side of the figure, just to the side of the last column. This proves that the coin is from Denver.
Although only a small number of coins were produced in Denver, many have survived the test of time, and the Jefferson nickel is a coin that has only recently entered the collectibles category, so they do not command a high market price.
However, as previously stated, this makes it an ideal coin for those interested in coin collecting. The most affordable coins are 11 cents, while the most valuable coins can be worth up to 11 dollars.
However, some coins can be quite costly. Many Denver coins feature the perfectly minted steps of Monticello.
On most coins, the Monticello steps are not fully defined, but coins that have 5-6 steps defined can cost much more.
One of these coins with all the steps complete can easily cost about 5 thousand dollars. In 2019 an MS 68 gem-quality coin was auctioned for $9,900.
However, the record is held by an MS 68 FS coin that cost $11,400 to a collector who paid it without hesitation.
1941 S (San Francisco) Nickel Value
The San Francisco mint produced the fewest coins (43,445,000). It was the first year of World War II, and the United States knew that it would mean heavy spending and a shock to the economy, so it decided to limit production and be prudent.
However, like the Denver mint coins, the San Francisco coins have survived over time and are owned by many people, making it an affordable option for those who don’t have much of a coin budget or who are just starting in coin collecting.
The mintmark on San Francisco coins is an “S” located on the reverse of the coin, just to the right edge of the Monticello house.
Coins increase in cost as their conservation level grows. You can find the coins that have been in circulation between the classification of good to extra fine.
Higher-quality coins are called uncirculated and will always be somewhat more expensive than those in circulation. Then come the gem grades that are identified by putting the initials MS and assigning a grade, from number 60 to 69+.
The coins that have been in circulation cost from 11 cents to 13 dollars. Even top gem quality coins cost no more than $30.
But you must remember that this coin has a particularity. The coins with all the complete stairs can make a difference in the price. A coin minted in San Francisco with the complete stairs can fetch about $2,500.
This MS67 quality coin has been recorded for sale for $1,900 and the record is held by one with all straight cm full at $8,913.
1941 Nickel Grading
Knowing the grade of each coin and the prices per grade is critical for determining how valuable the coin you have or want to buy is. We’ve included this video so you can review the various features that make this coin valuable.
Rare 1941 Nickel Error List
The coins present many inconveniences during their production and some problems with the dies or the matrix can be seen reflected in the minting of the coins.
It is important to know the errors of each coin since these details are what collectors care about and for which they would be willing to pay a very good price.
1941 Jefferson nickel off-center error
The matrix tends to shift out of place over time, causing the design to drift off-center by up to 10%. Thousands of coins can be generated with this flaw until the bug is fixed.
It appears to be a fairly common error, as coins with this error do not cost more than $15. The most expensive ones can cost up to $100, but they are extremely rare specimens with half the design missing.
1941 Reperforated Jefferson nickel
Mint marks were still hand-punched on coins in the early 1940s. This resulted in several double or triple-letter errors.
Many of these copies are available for $5, but those with double or triple mintmarks can cost up to $25.
It’s not a cheap bug, but it’s worth keeping in mind as an interesting option for collectors.
1941 Die-Cracked Jefferson Nickel
When planks and dies are overworked and worn, they begin to crack. These cracks were not immediately identified, and they gradually began to generate relief lines in the coin’s design.
A very good condition example of one of these coins can cost around $150. If the coin has been in circulation but is still in good condition, it is worth no more than $100 per coin.
1941 Full Steps Jefferson Nickel
Coins that feature all the ladders on the reverse of the design are the most popular 1941 coins. Coins with all the ladders cost thousands of dollars. They are the currencies that get the largest sums of money. From hundreds to thousands of dollars for a single copy.
1941 Nickel FAQ
Is there anything special about a 1941 nickel?
The 1941 coins were the last to contain a quarter-centimeter of nickel. The coins were made of copper and silver beginning the following year. Because nickel was a critical material for the war, the country decided to reserve it. This coin not only has historical value, but it can also reach very high values if it has an error or all of the steps on the reverse are completed.
What is the 1941 nickel worth?
This coin is officially worth 17 US cents in normal conditions. Its value can go up to 15 dollars in uncirculated versions. Proof coins that were minted in Philadelphia are also valuable and can cost up to $100 each.