A 1977 nickel is not a particularly rare coin, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. Not only do these coins contain a higher copper content than modern nickels, but they attract collectors when available at higher grades.
The lowest value of the 1977 nickel is close to $0.06 due to its 75 percent copper composition. When sold at higher grades to collectors, these coins are often priced between $0.25 and $3.30. Proof nickels from 1977 sell for about $1.71.
While these are the average market values of the 1977 nickel, they sell for much more on an open market or when they go to auction. This guide explains the reason different mint marks carry different values, how to determine coin condition, and which rare errors you’re likely to find in this coin.
1977 Nickel Value Chart
|1977 No Mint Mark Nickel Value
|$1.00 to $3.30
|1977 D Nickel Value
|$1.00 to $3.30
|1977 S Proof Nickel Value
The 1977 nickel is part of the Jefferson Five Cents series that ran from 1938 to 2004. These coins, designed by Felix Schlag, feature Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, on the front and his Monticello mansion on the back.
The coin’s obverse sees Jefferson’s profile facing the left field of the coin. Along the left rim the nickel reads IN GOD WE TRUST, while the right side has LIBERTY and the year 1977 inscribed, separated by a star. If the coin has a mint mark it is situated underneath the year.
The reverse Monticello design shows Jefferson’s Virginia home. The mansion is struck in stunning detail in the center of the coin, with the Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM along the top rim and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA at the bottom.
The reverse design identifies the mansion with a MONTICELLO inscription underneath the image as well as the FIVE CENTS denomination below that.
The 1977 dime meets other nickel standards, including a weight of 5 grams, a diameter of 21.2 mm, and a plain 1.95 mm thick edge. The coins are 75/25 percent copper/nickel, with a completely copper core and nickel exterior for the color (and name).
A total of 885,940,612 nickels were minted in 1977 by the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints.
1977 No Mint Mark Nickel Value
Philadelphia produced 585,376,000 nickels in 1977, and none of these bear a mint mark. The majority of the coins are only worth about $0.0574 due to their copper content, but they’re often left in circulation operating at face value.
Collectors wait until they find a coin at “Extremely Fine” or “Uncirculated” condition before they even consider adding to their collection. While these are more rare, there are enough to keep prices between $0.25 and $3.30.
A 2019 eBay auction holds the record sale for the 1977 no mint mark nickel, with a PCGS MS67FS sold at $4,495. This coin is of the highest grade on the record list, and those of MS66FS sell for $360 to $1,000.
1977 D Nickel Value
Denver produced a little over half as many nickels as Philadelphia in 1977, marking 297,313,460 nickels with a D. This makes the coins slightly more rare than those without a mint mark, but those of heavy circulation are still stuck at copper melt or face value.
The coins max out around $3.30, but you’re more likely to get a higher price on them. “Extremely Fine” nickels start sales close to $0.56. The auction record for the 1977 D nickel is much higher than this, selling for $4,320 in 2021.
The verified PCGS MS67FS nickel is tied for finest and sits in a “OGH” (Old Green PCGS Holder). Some numismatists consider the Retro OGH to carry its own premium on top of the coin value.
According to the PCGS auction record this, the 1977 D nickel only pops up with a few coins every couple of years. These usually won’t sell for over $100 until they reach a grade of MS66.
1977 S Proof Nickel Value
The 1977 S proof nickels were manufactured and marked at the San Francisco mint. This means that all 3,251,152 1977 S nickels got their start on the West coast.
Proof nickels are often worth more than the everyday business strike coins you find in your pocket or coin rolls, but they have a lower maximum price. This happens as the majority of the coin’s population was snatched up by collectors and they are more likely to be found at a higher grade.
Business strike coins have more obstacles to overcome and less opportunity to remain at a Mint State. Most 1977 S proof nickels sell for about $1.71, but the auction record holder is a PCGS PR70 DCAM that sold for $1,840 (over 1,000x the average amount).
Similar PCGS PR70 DCAM 1977 proof nickels have sold for $84 to $372 in recent years. The auction record holder is one of 9 at this grade with none finer.
About the DCAM Designation on Proof Nickels
If you scroll down the auction records for the 1977 proof nickel you will notice that a good number of them sit at the highest grade (PR70), but not all coins are on the same level.
The DCAM designation is assigned to coins that show deep, even frosting of their devices. In NGC-graded coins, the designation used is UCAM (for Ultra Cameo).
These coins were likely the first ones struck by the specially polished and cleaned proof dies, resulting in a greater contrast between the mirrored field and frosted details. A Premium is placed on these coins, and DCAM 1977 proof nickels will sell for more than non-DCAM coins.
1977 Nickel Grading
There are plenty of examples of the Jefferson nickel, and you can easily find a well-preserved coin to compare your 1977 nickel to. While professional grading requires experience and some expert tools, you can hone your hobby skills with basic observations.
Once you understand what a Jefferson nickel should look like, compare your 1977 coin to this image. Nickels in “Good” or “Fine” condition are missing many of the original details, sometimes reduced to flat shapes or silhouettes that barely resemble the original form.
Higher grades may still show signs of handling in relief areas such as Jefferson’s hair and collar. His face is also prone to flattening, particularly around contour points or details. On the reverse, Monticello loses details on its roof and columns first.
If a coin appears flawless, you can take it a step further by evaluating luster or using a magnifying glass to realize the most minor marks. These are the details that mark a coin down by a point and potentially several hundred dollars of value.
Full Steps on 1977 Nickels
Like all Jefferson nickels, the 1977 coins may receive a Full Steps (FS) designation along with the number grade. This is due to the nickels averaging a weak strike on the reverse that rarely captured the full six-steps of Schlag’s design.
A coin may receive the FS designation when it shows 5 or 6 fully recognizable steps. This easily increases the value of the 1977 nickel by $60 to several hundred dollars, depending on its mint mark and condition otherwise.
Rare 1977 Nickel Errors
There are no widely recognized mint errors occurring in the 1977 nickel, but mint errors occur nonetheless. Some verified errors include:
- A 1977 nickel struck on a one cent planchet
- 1977 nickels with CUD errors
- Off center 1977 nickels
While rare errors increase the value of a 1977 nickel, they’re never more impactful than the original condition of the coin. Sometimes, the error will have no premium if the nickel is in poor condition.
Low-value errors aren’t worth having professionally graded, but an extremely rare error on a Mint State coin should have professional verification.
1977 Incorrect Planchet Nickel
A nickel struck on the wrong planchet seems to be a common issue for this denomination, and the 1977 nickel is no exception. There are several instances of the coin struck on a one cent or dime planchet, resulting in a smaller, thinner nickel.
In the examples in the video, the nickels struck on the penny planchet show the Lincoln Memorial reverse. They also feature a coppery color and sell for a few hundred to a few thousand, depending on the condition of the coin.
Because the incorrect planchet error is so dramatic, expect a high premium over the original value of your 1977 nickel. Verifying the error before attempting to sell is generally worth it.
1977 CUD Error Nickel
A CUD error on a 1977 nickel refers to a coin that was struck with a broken die. The die must have cracked or chipped in this area after years of use, causing part of the design to break away.
Nickels with a CUD error end up with a “blob” on the coin. While some insist that this damage must occur on the outer edge of the coin (which is technically the true definition), the term “CUD” is common with similar die chips and cracks elsewhere on the coin.
A CUD error should not occur over the date or mint mark of the coin in order to receive the full value. If you don’t have a 1977 nickel in Mint State with the CUD error, you can still sell it at a premium without grading for about $20 to $35.
1977 Off Center Nickel
Coins are struck off center almost every year, but the degree of misalignment varies greatly from coin to coin. Smaller issues that are only off by a few degrees may not be worth anything extra, but a 1977 nickel off center and missing 3 to 10 percent of its design may attract another $10.
Collectors are more likely to pursue coins that are off center by 50 percent or more. These coins should still have their year and mint mark evident to receive full value, but they can easily sell for $100 or more.
Verification is essential to receive the full value of the error and the condition of the coin.
1977 Nickel FAQs
How Much Is a 1977 5 Cents Coin Worth?
Most 1977 5 cent coins are only worth face value, but higher graded coins are worth $0.25 to $3.30. Proof 1977 five cents are steadily worth around $1.71. A 1977 5 cents coin at Mint State may sell for many times this value at auction.
Is a 1977 Nickel Made of Silver?
A 1977 nickel is not made of silver. These nickels are nickel clad copper and have a silver appearance. The only silver Jefferson nickels were made from 1942 to 1945 to allow for the use of nickel for war efforts during WWII.
Where Can You Buy or Sell 1977 Jefferson Nickels?
You can find several reputable coin dealers online with 1977 Jefferson nickels in stock. Otherwise, you may try your luck searching online auctions or looking for local opportunities like coin conventions or local valuables dealers.
Where Is the Mint Mark on a 1977 Nickel?
The mint mark on a 1977 nickel is on the front of the coin, just after the year and underneath Jefferson’s ponytail. Only the Denver and San Francisco mints marked their nickels in 1977; proof and business strike nickels from Philadelphia have no mint mark.
Are There any Silver 1977 Nickels?
There are no silver 1977 nickels. These coins are made up of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel. The only years that had silver nickels were 1942 through 1945; these “war nickels” allowed the redirection of nickel material for strengthening of military armor during WWII.