How Much Is 1939 Nickel Value? Ultimate Guide

1939 Nickel value is not much higher nor they are rarer. But its worth is more than its face value. According to the latest update, it is estimated that it may cost 50 cents in average condition leading to $880 in mint state.

If you are a coin roll hunter, this article is the right one for you. Just scroll below and learn more and more about the rare and valuable nickel of the 1939 series. The variety entitled the 1939 D nickel is in a leading position.  

How Much Is 1939 Nickel Worth?

The value differs from nickel to nickel. You may know somebody buying a 1939 nickel spending $1000 or $10000. But it doesn’t mean that you have to pay almost a similar amount for all 1939 nickels. 

Some factors are there that determine the nickel value. To evaluate the worth of the nickel, you need to focus on the – 

  • Date And Mint Mark Variety
  • Special Qualities
  • Grading Condition


Varieties of 1939 Nickel

There is a step-by-step process that assists in identifying multiple varieties. The prominent Nickels are minted in different US mints. They are named according to the mint name. 

The minting places are Philadelphia, San Francisco, Denver, etc. that produce the entire Jefferson series nickel. Among them, the nickels struck in Philadelphia bear no mint mark.

1. 1939 S Jefferson Nickel

In respect of the lowest minting, this is the fourth in line. They are supplied by San Francisco Mint. The total minting of the 1939-S Jefferson nickel was 6,630,000. The number is less than that of the 1939 Denver Nickel. They are termed as a better date.

Till now they are not rare. Most of them are heavily worn. The value of such nickel in the different conditions is shown in the chart:

                                                     1939 S Nickel Value

Well Worn GradeUncirculated ConditionFull StepsMS66 Specimen
$2 to $5.$15 or more.$100 or more$8,050

2. 1939 D Jefferson Nickel

This semi-key date nickel is rarely found. The total number of coins struck at the Denver mint is  3,514,000. Approximately one-third of them are now in circulation. There is a small but significant amount of uncirculated grade nickels. 

1939 D nickels are found in different conditions. Among them the nickels with Full Steps details are overpriced.

                                                         1939 D Nickel Value

Average CirculatedMint State SpecimenFull Steps DetailsPCGS MS68 Full Steps
$8 to $15.$50 to $100$200 and up$26,400

3. 1939 Nickel with No Mint Mark

1939 no mint mark nickel is the most common 1939 nickel. The circulated coins are in different stages of their circulation. Most of the produced 120,615,000 nickels are still in circulation in various stages. 

Their value differs as per their condition. The total number of minted nickel is 120,615,000.

                                    1939 No Mint Mark Nickel Value

Well Worn GradeUncirculated ConditionFull Steps DetailsMS68 Specimen
7 to 10 cents.$2 and up.$20 and up.$23,500

Special Qualities

There are some nickels bearing some unique qualities or features. Their value to the numismatists is also different. Nickels with exceptional qualities are-    

1. 1939 Proof Nickels

They can be found in 1939 proof sets. There was an intention lying behind the production of 12,535, 1939-proof nickel. These specially produced nickels are of high quality. They’re stuck on lustrous planchets. 

The scarcely found nickels include all the details. You need to pay the most for a premier specimen graded by PCGS.

                                                    1939 Proof Nickel Value

Proof ExamplePremier Specimen PR68

2. 1939 Doubled MONTICELLO & FIVE CENTS Nickel

The doubled Monticello nickels are popularly known as ‘doubled die’. They were produced by the Philadelphia mint. No exact number of its production is known. 

But the Professional Coin Grading Service or PCGS assumes that the approximate number might be 60,000. They are more expensive than their face value. You may have to bring out a big amount from your wallet.

                                               1939 Double Die Nickel Value

Well Worn CirculatedLight Wear CirculatedMint StateFull Steps DetailsFull Step MS 67 Grade
$20 and up$150$300 and up$1,000$23,500

Grades of 1939 Nickel

1939 Nickel value greatly depends on its grade or condition. To know the true value of the nickel you are in the possession of or you are looking to buy, you must know it belongs to which category. 

You just need to have a copy of the U.S. Coin Grading Standards book and a coin magnifier. Some video tutorials are there following which you can grade the coin yourself.

1. Good Grade

The nickels with visible, heavy wear are termed good-grade nickel. Despite huge wear, Jefferson’s portrait remains bold and clear to some extent. The raised areas of the design become flattened and connected.

No dividing lines are seen in Jefferson’s hair. His cheek and hair get almost mingled with each other. Too much wearing creates a flattened area above the eye.

You can read the letters and dates. But letter tops and rim become connected.

2. Fine Grade

In fine grade nickel a visible wearing is noticed on the high areas of the nickel design. The outline of Jefferson’s face and the head is noticed. The dividing line between the forehead and hair almost disappears. 

A smooth area is formed in the hair’s central part. The portion covering the ear to the head top seems to be flattened.

3. Extremely Fine Grade

In such crispy and sharp coins, the wearing amount is slight. They lack glossiness, and ultimately coins’ high points become smooth. The coin becomes flattened in appearance. 

In addition, there is a formation of smooth areas in the center of Jefferson’s hair. Sometimes a slight color difference is noticed in the hair’s smooth area. 

4. Mint State Grade

They are so shiny. The fine texture was given while minted. As soon as the coin wears, it starts losing its luster. If the coin is in circulation the raised points of the design become smooth and take a dull appearance. 

To check the originality it’s kept in a light shed and closely inspected through Jefferson’s hair.

                      1939 Jefferson Nickel Value according to condition

DateGoodFineExtremely Fine Mint State
1939 D$1.67$3.58$4.79$31
1939 S$0.32$0.58$1.83$21
1939 Double Monticello$34$63$121$227 to $1,134 or more
                        1939 Jefferson Nickel Value as Updated in /2022

Are 1939 Nickels Rare?

Most of the 1939 nickels are very common. But some of them are rarely found. The mintage number of all the nickels is not the same. Usually, the lowest mintage nickels are considered as rarest nickels. 

The 1939 D nickel produced by the Denver mint is in the second position in respect of the lowest mintage. During this business strike, Jefferson’s nickels were produced for circulation.

There are some error coins that are rare. The reverse side of these 1939 nickels includes double inscriptions of “FIVE CENTS” and “MONTICELLO”. Such highly scarce nickels are termed a doubled die.

Another rare nickel is the 1939 Proof nickel, specially designed for numismatists. Their finishing is like a mirror and includes nice features.

Where is the mintmark on a 1939 nickel?

Usually, the mintmark is on the ‘head’s side’ or obverse side of modern nickels. On the contrary, the 1939 nickel’s mintmark is on the ‘tale’s side’ or reverse side of the very coin. The exact location is nearby the coin rim and right side of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia home. Note that the nickel produced by Philadelphia Mint bears no mintmark.

How do you find real old nickels?

You can avail some rare and old nickels from bank rolls. Besides, you may collect them from coin dealers who keep some valuable coins mingling with ordinary coins unknowingly. Estate sales and garage sales of hoards of old scarcely found, and valuable nickels are also great sources.

Are 1939 Silver Nickels Made Of Silver?

So many old coins are there that contain silver. Unlike those coins, 1939 Jefferson nickels are not made of silver. The war nickels produced between 1942 and 1945  were silver made. Then the purpose was to save nickel for artillery during the second world war. 

What is 1939 nickel doubled Monticello?

It is a 1939 error coin, popularly known as ‘doubled die’.  On the coin’s reverse side you will notice that the words  “Five Cents” are  “Monticello” are doubled. In average condition, its worth is about $39.

Final Word

The 1939 nickels are still in circulation. The reasons are its abundant production, unchanged design for a long time, a saying that they are not that worthy and sought for, etc. But the truth is the 1939 nickel value is not less in any way.  The details of 1939 nickel, its varieties, evaluation method, grading, comparative study of their value, etc. all are before you. Now it’s your turn to pick the desired coin. You can take the assistance of the professionals not to be cheated or befooled.

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