Location / Phone / Hours:
30 W 2nd St, Xenia, OH, 45385
Phone: (937) 376-2807
Tuesday-Friday 11:00 AM-5:00 PM,
Saturday 10:00 AM-3:00 PM,
Closed Sunday & Monday.

U.S. Cents & Nickels

cents nickels for template

Indian Head Cents
(Years of issue: 1859-1909)

The Indian Head cent series was issued from 1859-1909. Common date coins from the 1880′s, 1890′s and 1900′s, in Good to Very Good condition, generally trade in the $0.50 – $2.00 range. Indian Head cents dated from 1859-1879 should all be priced individually according to date and condition. Most coins will trade in the $1.00 – $50.00 price range. Some of the key dates are as follows:

Date/Mint MarkUsual Range of Values
1866$25-$150+
1867$25-$150+
1868$20-$200+
1869$30-$350+
1870$25-$350+
1871$35-$300+
1872$40-$500+
1877$350-$2500+
1908-S$40-$200+
1909-S$200-$500+
Date RangesLess Than GoodFull Rim Good to Very FinXF to AU ConditionUncirculated Condition
Indian Cents (1880-1909)20¢40¢+$3-$10$20+
    • 1908-S and 1909-S (The “S” mintmark is on the back of the coin below the wreath at 6 o’clock)
      are worth $20 – $500+
    • Indian Cents 1859-1879 need to be sorted and inspected individually to determine value

Lincoln Cents (Wheat Back)
(Years of issue: 1909-1958)

 

Wheat-backed Lincoln cents was first introduced in 1909 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth and continued to be produced through 1958. They were made of 95% copper and 5% zinc for all but one year, 1943. That year, the US government struck pennies made primarily of steel instead to conserve copper for the war effort. These cents are commonly known as “steel pennies.” Production of copper wheat cents resumed in 1944. Wheat cents from the 1940s and 50s are still commonly found in circulation. Although a handful of wheat cents such as the 1909-S, 1914-D and the 1931-S have collector value due to their rarity, a majority of these cents in circulated condition are often worth just a few cents – including the 1943 steel pennies. However, this penny remains a very popular coin to collect due to their common availability and relatively low cost. They are often bought and sold in bulk so that collectors can search for more valuable dates.

Key dates to look for include:

Date/Mint MarkUsual Range of Values
1909-S VDB$350-$1000+
1914-D$80-$1200+
1922 “no D” (strong rev.)$300-$5000+
1931-S$40-$75+

Lincoln Head Cents

Common Lincoln Cents, If You Have Sorted Them By These Date Ranges. (Unsorted Wheat Cents are .02 ea.)

Date RangesGood to XF ConditionUncirculated Condition
1909-1918Varies
1919-1933Varies
1934-1939Varies
1940-58Varies
1943 Wartime (Steel) CentsVaries

U.S. Nickels

Jefferson Nickels
(Years of issue: 1938-Present)

Most Jefferson nickels (even those from the 1940’s and 1950’s) that have been circulated have little collector value. The most common exceptions are the Jefferson nickels struck during the war years of 1942-1945. They were made of 35% silver and trade for a premium, according to their silver content value. These can be easily identified by the large P,D or S mint mark located above the capitol on the reverse of the coin.

Other dates that bring a premium in circulated condition include:

Date/Mint MarkUsual Range of Values
1939-D$2-$10
1950-D$2-$4

Jefferson (Alloy) Nickel
(Years of issue: 1942-1945)

Beginning in 1942 shortly after the United States’ entry into World War II, the US Mint changed the composition of the Jefferson nickel to include 35% silver. This was done to conserve nickel which was considered critical to the war effort. These “war nickels” or “wartime nickels” included a large mintmark (P, D or S) added to the reverse appearing above Monticello so that they could be more easily removed from circulation at the conclusion of the war. The US Mint resumed producing standard, non-silver nickels again beginning in 1946. However, millions of these silver war nickels dated 1942-45 remained in circulation after the war and can still be found today. Because they are so common, only war nickels in uncirculated condition have any collector value.

Generally, circulated examples are valued for their silver content only.

Good to Extra FineAU Uncirculated
Jefferson Wartime Nickels (1942-1945)50¢75¢-$1+ $2+

 

Uncirculated rolls, especially of the early years, can also bring substantial premiums.

Buffalo (or Indian Head) Nickels
(Years of issue: 1913-1938)

Buffalo nickels, sometimes referred to as Indian Head nickels, were struck from 1913-1938. Because the date appears relatively high on the coin’s face, normal wear of the coin often removes a portion or all of the date. The result is that these coins are often sorted into one of three general conditions: full date, partial date and no date. If the date is complete and fully readable, it would be classified as full date. If a portion of the date is still visible and the year can still be determined, it would be classified as partial date. Finally, if the date is entirely or almost entirely worn off, it is considered no date. Full date Buffalo nickels are more desirable to collectors and are generally worth more. No date Buffalo nickels have no collector value and are often used for crafts and as buttons on Western apparel. One of the most sought-after and valuable Buffalo nickels is the 1937-D “3-Legged” where the buffalo on the reverse of the coin appears to only have three legs.

Key dates to look for include:

Date/Mint MarkUsual Range of Values
1913-D Type 2$60-$200+
1913-S Type 2$150-$500+
1914-D$40-$200+
1916 over 16$1000-$10,000+
1918 over 17-D$500-$10,000+
1921-S$30-$1000
1937-D 3-Legged$250-$2000+

Common circulated coins from the 1926-1938 are worth around 20 cents each, if they have full dates and no problems. If the date is nearly worn off the coin, its value drops to around 7 cents. High grade Buffalo nickels will bring substantial premiums over more circulated coins. They should be examined closely by a professional numismatist.

Dateless – DamagedPartial DateFull Date G to VFXF to AUUncirculated
Common Date Buffalo Nickels (1913-1938)10¢ 20¢$1-$4$15+

Liberty Head Nickels
(Years of issue: 1883-1913)

Most liberty nickels we see are well circulated and bring $0.25 to $1.00 each. Higher-grade coins are worth more of course with uncirculated examples starting at around $50.00 each.

The key dates to look for, even in low grade, include:

Date/Mint MarkUsual Range of Values
1885$200-$1000+
1886 $75-$500+
1912-S$50-$1000+
CullAvg CirculatedGoodXF to AUUncirculated
Common Date Liberty Nickels (1883-1913)10¢20¢ 30¢$15-$30+$40+

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U.S. Cents & Nickels
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