PARRIS ISLAND COINS » 1948 Nickel Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?

1948 Nickel Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?

1948 Nickel Value

Are you looking for the 1948 nickel value in today’s market? If so, then you’ve come to the right place! This is an interesting coin, and in this blog post, we will discuss the history and value of the 1948 nickel, as well as cover topics such as mint mark varieties, grading nickels, and rare error coins, in order to help you determine how much your 1948 nickel is worth.

We’ll also look at some frequently asked questions related to these coins. So whether you’re an experienced coin collector or just getting started with numismatics, make sure to read through this entire post – it could be worth its weight in gold!

Let’s get started.

1948 Nickel Value Chart

Mint Mark Good Fine Extremely Fine Uncirculated Proof
1948 “No Mint Mark” Nickel Value / / / $1.16-$23 /
1948 “D” Nickel Value / / / $3.38-$17 /
1948 “S” Nickel Value / / / $1.75-$17 /

Value by Mint Mark

Designed by Felix Schlag, the 1948 nickel has a fascinating history. The nickel was first introduced in the United States in 1792, and in 1948, the Jefferson nickel had been in circulation for ten years.

This coin features a left-facing portrait of Thomas Jefferson, the second president of the United States, on the obverse, plus the mint date and the words “LIBERTY” and “IN GOD WE TRUST”.

There is a depiction of Monticello on the reverse, which was Jefferson’s idyllic looking home, as well as the mint mark (if any), the denomination (“FIVE CENTS”), the phrase “E PLURIBUS UNUM”, and the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”.

It is important to note that there were three varieties of this nickel produced in 1948 – those with a “D” mint mark for Denver, those with no mint mark for Philadelphia, and those with an “S” mint mark for San Francisco – and they are worth different amounts depending on their condition. These coins weigh 5 grams and are made of 75% copper and 25% nickel. They have a diameter of 21.2 millimeters and a thickness of 1.95 millimeters.

Now let’s take a look at what your 1948 nickel might be worth! The following paragraphs outline the value of various grades of these coins:

1948 “No Mint Mark” Nickel Value

1948 "No Mint Mark" Nickel Value
Credit: usacoinbook

As we mentioned earlier, the 1948 nickels that have no mint mark were minted at the Philadelphia Mint in Pennsylvania. With a minting of over 89 million, the 1948 no mint mark nickel is very common – but that doesn’t mean that they are any less collectable!

Coins in “Good” condition will be worth the least, anywhere around their face value of five cents. The same goes for coins that are in “Fine” condition and those that are in “Extremely Fine” condition.

However, those that are in “Uncirculated” condition can fetch up to quite a range, from about $1.16 all the way up to $23 and higher. Not bad for a five cent piece!

1948 “D” Nickel Value

1948 "D" Nickel Value

The 1948 “D” nickel (minted at the Denver Mint in Colorado) has a total mintage of just under 45 million coins – which is much less than the “No Mint Mark” variety – making it more desirable to collectors. Of course, a 1948 nickel in “Good” condition with some wear on its surfaces will be worth around five cents, as will one in “Fine” condition and in “Extremely Fine” condition.

Those that are in “Uncirculated” condition will have a value of roughly $3.38 to $17 and above!

1948 “S” Nickel Value

1948 "S" Nickel Value

Lastly, the 1948 “S” nickel was minted at the San Francisco Mint in California and has a total mintage of just over 11 million coins. This number of course is much smaller than those of the other two US Mint locations.

Coins that are in “Good” condition, “Fine” condition, or even “Extremely Fine” condition will likely be worth their face value of five cents. But if you have a coin that is in “Uncirculated” condition, then it could be worth anywhere from $1.75 to $17 and higher!

Also, a lot of times, there are Proof coins that come from the San Francisco Mint. A Proof coin is a special coin made for collectors and not for business circulation. However, there were no Proof nickels minted in the year of 1948.

1948 Nickel Grading

Grading a 1948 nickel is a process that involves careful observation and evaluation of the coin’s condition. To start, the coin should be examined for any visible signs of damage or wear such as scratches, gouges, discoloration, or other imperfections. The amount of luster and brilliance on both sides should also be noted. Additionally, any minting errors or die varieties should be identified.

The details on the obverse and reverse should also be carefully inspected in order to determine the grade. On the obverse, look for sharp details in the hair and facial features on President Thomas Jefferson’s portrait. Also examine the words “LIBERTY” and “IN GOD WE TRUST” to see if they are still legible.

On the reverse, inspect Monticello for full steps and to make sure the design is crisp and clear with no fading; check that all lettering is readable; and note if any mint marks (D or S) are present and readable.

The overall grade of the coin will then depend on how much wear and tear it has sustained over its lifetime. Coins in “Good” and “Fine” condition typically show some moderate wear on their surfaces while coins in “Extremely Fine” condition will have more detail but may show some minor amounts of wear. Coins in “Uncirculated” condition will appear to have just been minted: there won’t be any visible signs of wear or damage and all features will remain sharp with full luster present along with full steps around each edge.

Finally, an expert numismatist should always be consulted when grading a 1948 nickel as there are many nuances that can affect its value – a coin can increase or decrease in value by thousands of dollars based solely off its grade!

Rare 1948 Nickel Error Coins

Sometimes, 1948 nickels may have rare and valuable errors or die varieties that can make them worth even more. An error occurs when a mistake is made in the minting process. Such coins are extremely rare and could command prices of up to thousands of dollars depending on the error type.

Examples of rare errors and varieties that could happen include doubled dies, off-center strikes, capped die strikes, and wrong denomination planchets, for instance.

Let’s look at a few of the most interesting error coins found so far from the 1948 nickel run. Here they are:

1948 Nickel – “Full Steps” Variety

1948 Nickel - "Full Steps" Variety
Credit: greysheet

When it comes to looking for rare 1948 nickel coins, collectors should look for the “full steps” variety. This isn’t actually an error, but it is very rare and worth a lot of money, so it is worth adding to this list.

On the reverse of the Jefferson nickel, there are steps that lead up the front of Monticello. On most nickels, those steps are blurred and they blend together, making them difficult to make out. But if you can find an authentic set of steps that shows each and every one, then you are in luck!

One such nickel, which was a 1948 “D” nickel from Denver, sold at an auction for a whole lot more than face value. Since it has full steps and is graded at a mint state 67 (which is a high “Uncirculated” grade), it sold for an impressive $3,700!

One grade point makes a huge difference, as another “full steps” 1948 nickel (this time with no mint mark) that was graded at a mint state 66 sold for $1,900 at auction. That’s quite a bit less than the mint state 67 nickel – however, both prices are higher than five cents, so either would be stellar to own!

Even better, one of these nickels – this one with an “S” mint mark from San Francisco – had full steps and was a mint state 67. Because it was so pristine, it sold at an auction for a whopping $7,000! Pretty amazing.

1948 “S” Nickel – Struck Off Center 15% Error Coin

1948 "S" Nickel - Struck Off Center 15% Error Coin
Credit: coins.ha

Struck off center errors are always sought after by numismatists, and the 1948 “S” nickel is no exception. This error coin was struck at the San Francisco mint 15% off-center, meaning that it was centered incorrectly during the minting process resulting in a portion of the design missing.

This particular error coin was graded at a mint state 64, which is a little more common, but despite being in that condition and having an off center error, the coin still has full steps. Therefore, when it sold at an auction, that helped lift the price to $325!

1948 Nickel Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we’ve covered all the basics, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions collectors have about 1948 nickels:

What is the Value of a 1948 Nickel?

The value of a 1948 nickel depends on its condition and whether any rare mistakes or varieties are present. In general, coins in “Good” condition can be worth around face value (five cents), as can coins in “Fine” and “Extremely Fine” condition, while coins in “Uncirculated” condition could be worth anywhere from $1.75 to $17 and higher!

Additionally, if there are any rare errors or varieties present, then these coins could be worth much more than their expected values. You just never know until you get your 1948 nickel graded and sold at auction!

How Many Kinds of 1948 Nickels Are There?

There were three main varieties of 1948 nickels released: the Philadelphia (no mint mark), the Denver (“D” mint mark) and the San Francisco (“S” mint mark). Additionally, there can be rare errors or varieties found in any of these coins that could make them worth more than face value.

So if you find a 1948 nickel, it is always wise to get it graded and inspected by a professional to see if there is anything special about it that could make it more valuable.

Are There Any Rare or Valuable Errors to Look Out for in 1948 Nickels?

Yes! While there are not many to be found for the 1948 date, there are a few rare errors found in this series including a 15% off center strike error. These coins can be worth up to hundreds of dollars or even thousands depending on their condition and rarity (and if they display “full steps” on Monticello).

Where Can I Find More 1948 Nickels?

You may be wondering where you can find these beautiful coins. You can find plenty of 1948 nickels on eBay, on Etsy, at coin shows, or through private dealers. Additionally, you might be able to find some nice examples in your pocket change if you’re lucky! Be sure to look out for any potential errors or varieties that could make these coins worth a lot of money.

Are the 1948 Nickels Considered Part of the War Time Nickels?

Actually, no, the 1948 nickels are not considered part of the War Time Nickels series. This series includes coins minted from 1942 to 1945 which featured a different composition and design to help conserve resources of nickel for the war. However, the 1948 nickel was minted in standard composition, so it does not fit into this category.


So there you have it! We hope this blog post has been helpful in understanding the value of your 1948 nickel! As you can see, the value of these coins all depend on their grade and mint mark variety – not to mention those “full steps” on the reverse!

Be sure to take good care of your coins so you can maintain or increase their value. And of course, it’s always best to consult an expert numismatist before buying or selling any 1948 nickels, as they can provide you with more information about the coin’s value and condition. With their help, you can make sure that you get the best price possible for your coins!

Happy Collecting!

What other questions do you have about the 1948 nickel? Let us know in the comments below.

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