The 1947 nickel is a coin that holds significant value and interest among collectors. Minted in the United States, this five-cent piece has a rich history and special features that contribute to its uniqueness. Many people who come across a 1947 nickel may be curious about its value and how it compares to other coins.
In today’s article, we will explore the story behind the 1947 nickel, its notable characteristics, and what makes it a sought-after item for numismatics.
1947 Nickel Details
The 1947 nickel, also known as the Jefferson nickel, is a five-cent coin that was minted in the United States. It has a composition of 75% copper and 25% nickel, with a weight of 5 grams and a thickness of 1.95 millimeters. The obverse of the coin features a left-facing portrait of Thomas Jefferson, while the reverse depicts his home, Monticello. The designer of the coin, Felix Schlag, won a competition held by the Treasury Department in 1938 to redesign the nickel.
The 1947 nickel has a plain edge and a matte surface with mint marks denoting their origin. The coin’s overall mintage was over 141 million, with coins produced at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints.
While an average 1947 nickel is only worth a few cents to a few dollars, rare variants can be extremely valuable. A 1947-D nickel in uncirculated form, for example, can be worth more than $100, while a 1947-S nickel in the same condition can be worth more than $500.
1947 Nickel Value Chart
|1947 No Mint Mark Nickel Value||$0.10||$0.20||$0.30||$2.50|
|1947 – D Nickel Value||$0.10||$0.20||$0.30||$3.00|
|1947 – S Nickel Value||$0.20||$0.30||$0.50||$5.00|
1947 “No Mint Mark” Nickel Value
The 1947 no-mint mark nickel is an intriguing coin that was minted at the Philadelphia Mint. This nickel is unique in that it lacks a mint mark, which usually denotes the location where the coin was struck. The Philadelphia Mint is one of the oldest and most recognizable mints in the United States, with a long tradition of producing some of the country’s most valuable coins. With a mintage of 95,000,000, this nickel is the most common of all nickels minted in 1947.
It didn’t have a mint mark because the Philadelphia mint where it was minted didn’t use mint marks for that year’s nickels. This is because the use of nickel was limited during WW11, and production of nickel five-cent coins was halted from 1942 to 1945. Due to the increased demand for nickels following the resumption of production in 1946, the Philadelphia Mint produced a large number of nickels without any mint.
While not rare, the 1947 no-mint mark nickel can be valuable when in excellent condition. Rarity, historical significance, and demand from collectors all impact a coin’s value, so it’s important to understand these factors before buying or selling.
However, its value depends on its condition. If the coin is in good or fine condition, it is worth its face value. But, if it’s in extremely fine condition, it has a value of around $0.33. If the 1947 no-mint mark nickel is found in the uncirculated condition, its value range from $0.85 to $13. In 2014, a 1947 – P graded MS67 was bought for $4,112.
1947 – D Nickel
The 1947-D nickel, minted at the Denver Mint, had a production of 37,822,000 nickels making it less common than its Philadelphia counterpart from the same year. But still, it’s not rare, as more than enough samples are still in circulation to meet the demands of coin collectors. In fact, with diligent searching, one might discover a 1947 D nickel graded MS66 and above.
Typically, circulated versions of this coin found in everyday transactions are worth between 25 and 40 cents. However, if you come across an uncirculated specimen, it could be worth anywhere from $0.80 to $2.5.
In 2019, a 1947 D nickel received a high-grade rating of MS67+ Full Steps from PCGS and fetched a noteworthy sum of $4,700 at an auction.
1947 – S Nickel
The 1947 S nickel, minted at the San Francisco Mint, is known for being the rarest of the three 1947 nickel coins. With a total mintage of only 24,720,000, it is considered a challenging find for collectors, although, with enough effort, it is possible to find one.
If you happen to find an averagely circulated 1947 S nickel, it can be valued between $0.30 – $1. However, for collectors looking for a pristine example, uncirculated 1947 – S nickels are worth $0.9 – $3.00.
Interestingly, $14,950 was the highest price a 1947 – S nickel was sold for, and this sample was graded MS67 + Full steps.
History of the 1947 Nickel
The 1947 nickel holds a significant place in the history of American currency as a widely recognized and iconic coin. It was initially minted in the United States as a five-cent piece, a value half of that of a dime. The coin’s obverse (front side) features the portrait of the 3rd President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, while the reverse (back side) depicts Monticello, his estate in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The 1947 nickel coin was made using a nickel alloy, which was a shift from the metals used during World War II when nickel was conserved for war efforts. This change in metal composition made the coin more durable and less prone to wear and tear. This has remained unchanged to this day.
The design of the Jefferson nickel was the result of a competition held by the US Mint in 1938, which attracted about 390 artists. The winner was Felix Schlag, a German immigrant who had moved to the US a decade earlier. His rendition of Jefferson and Monticello won the hearts of the judges, and he was awarded a prize of $1,000. However, his original design of Monticello was modified further to meet Mint’s standards, and it became the reverse side of the nickel for the next 70 years.
Despite his success, Schlag did not receive credit for his design on the coin itself until the 1960s when the initials “FS” was added to the obverse side of the nickel. Nonetheless, Schlag’s design had already become an essential part of American history.
Grading the 1947 Nickel
The condition of a coin plays a critical role in determining its value, especially for coins that have been in circulation for over half a century. To determine a coin’s grade, one must examine its surface for scratches, wear, and blemishes. For a 1947 quarter, an uncirculated coin would be in pristine condition, while an extremely fine coin would show slight wear and tear. A fine coin would have significant scratches but intact imagery, and a good coin would have obvious damage and scratches.
Grading services like the PCGS assess the condition of a 1947 nickel and assign it a grade that determines its value.
Do you want to grade your 1947 nickel yourself? Check this video.
Rare 1947 Nickel Error Lists
When it comes to collecting coins, the 1947 nickel is highly sought after due to the possibility of mistakes and variations. These errors, which can be the result of mining errors such as double strikes or mid-strikes, can significantly increase the coin’s value. Normally, most of the 1947 error nickels were minted by mistake, and their uniqueness is what makes them stand out.
As a result, collectors appreciate looking for rare varieties. We will look into some of these errors in this section.
1. 1947 Nickel Double Die Error
When a coin die hits twice, it results in doubled lettering or designs on the coin. Although major double die errors have not been discovered on 1947 nickels, minor doubling may be found on Jefferson’s eye, on the inscriptions “MONTICELLO” and “FIVE CENTS” on the reverse, and other letter inscriptions on the coin.
These minor flaws could raise the coin’s worth to $30 – $60. Collectors should keep a watch out for such errors and keep them for potential future value increases.
2. 1947 Nickel Off-Center Error
Off-center strikes are popular coin minting errors. Collectors are especially fond of the 1947 off-center nickels. Due to an incomplete strike, a part of the coin is usually missing on both sides. The value of these coins is determined by the amount of the missing design as well as the visibility of the full date and mintmark. If your 1947 nickel is more than 50% askew, and still has its mintmark and date, you can sell it for $150 or more.
3. 1947 Repunched Mintmark Error
Due to mintmark errors, the 1947 Jefferson nickel has numerous variants. The Repunched mintmark is one of these variations, which happens when the mintmark is wrongly aligned and must be punched again. This can result in a doubled or overlapping mintmark of varying value based on the severity of the error and how often the mintmark was punched. In general, 1947 nickels with this error are valued between $4 – $10. Collectors find these variations intriguing, and they add a unique dimension to the study of coin collecting.
4. 1947 Clipped Planchet Error
A clipped planchet error is a common mistake that can arise during the coin manufacturing process. This error occurs when the cutting machine fails to move the metal sheet far enough before the next cut, resulting in an overlap and a tiny “clip” from the coin’s edge. While the majority of clipped planchets are insignificant, larger mistakes can be valuable to collectors. As with many coin errors, the rarity and severity of the error can greatly increase its value.
5. 1947 (P) Nickel Lamination Obverse and Reverse Error
A lamination error on both the obverse and reverse sides of a 1947 P Jefferson Nickel is a rare incident that can significantly raise the coin’s worth. These errors occur when a section of the coin’s surface separates from the rest of the metal due to impurities or problems in the minting process. This type of mistake can create a visible split on the coin’s surface, resulting in a distinctive and valued collectible.
6. 1947 Nickels with Full Steps
Although not technically an error, finding a 1947 nickel with all five steps at the base of Monticello is rare. These nickels are highly sought after by collectors and can sell for a significant amount at auction. Recently, a nearly perfect Philadelphia nickel sold for $4,112.50, and a Denver Mint nickel sold for $4,700 due to their full steps. Owning one of these rare coins can be a valuable addition to any collection.
Watch the video below to learn more about the 1947 nickels to look out for.
1947 Nickel FAQs
1. What Is A 1947 Nickel Worth?
A 1947 nickel is worth face value if it is in circulated condition. If it is in uncirculated condition, it may be worth a few dollars.
2. Is The 1947 Nickel Rare?
The 1947 nickel is not considered rare. In fact, it is considered one of the more common dates for the Jefferson nickel series.
3. How Can I Tell If My 1947 Nickel Is Valuable?
To determine if a 1947 nickel is valuable, consider its rarity and condition. Consult with a professional dealer or grading service for an accurate valuation.
4. Is The 1947 Nickel Silver?
No, it is not silver. It is composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel.
Finally, the 1947 nickel is an intriguing piece of American currency with both historical and monetary worth. The 1947 nickel is a coin that should not be ignored whether you are a seasoned collector or a novice enthusiast. It acts as a reminder of America’s rich history and the significance of preserving our cultural heritage. If you are fortunate to own a 1947 nickel, it is worthwhile to learn about its unique features and have it appraised by an expert.