US Coins

Market Analysis: 1945-D ‘silver nickel’ realizes $5,160

Heritage’s Premier Session auction on Oct. 15, 2020, offered this lovely toned 1945-D Jefferson 5-cent coin graded PCGS MS-68 full steps that realized $5,160.

All images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

The U.S. Mint used a new composition starting in 1942 for Jefferson 5-cent coins with 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese. These “silver nickels” can be identified by the Mint mark over Monticello.

In October, Heritage Auctions offered a 1945-D Jefferson 5-cent coin graded Mint State 68 full steps that is one of just nine in this grade at Professional Coin Grading Service with one finer. The issue is common in nearly all grades, but becomes rare in very top grades, especially with fully-defined steps on Monticello. PCGS defines full steps (FS) as “the designation following the numerical grade of some regular-strike MS60 or higher Jefferson nickels that have at least five separated steps (lines) at the base of Monticello,” adding, “Any major disturbance or interruption of these steps or lines, whether caused by contact, planchet problems, or another source, will result in the coin’s not being designated FS.”

Bidders responded to the lovely toning and satiny surfaces, as well as the overall sharp strike. It sold for $5,160 on Oct. 15, 2020.

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