1964 Nickel History, Value and Price

Despite their vintage features, Jefferson’s nickels are still a favorite among coin collectors. Finding the best quality, however, is a challenge for numismatic collectors. The 1964 Jefferson Nickel coin is part of the coin series designed by Felix Oscar in 1938.

The value of a 1964 nickel in good condition is $5. The Jefferson Nickel has a total melt value of $0.0567 and comprises 75% copper and 25% nickel. The highest price for a 1964 Jefferson SP68 sale was $32,900.

This article explores the history of the 1964 nickel and its key features. It also contains information on how to grade the coin for prices higher than its face value.

What is the 1964 Jefferson Nickel?

1964 Nickel front and back design

It is a five-cent coin produced in 1964 in memory of the late President Thomas Jefferson. The obverse of the 1964 Nickel coin depicts Thomas Jefferson’s likeness, while the reverse shows Monticello, where he lived. The Jefferson Nickel, created by Felix Schlag in 1938, replaced the Indian Head cent.

Country of OriginThe US
Year Of Mintage1964
Denomination/Face valueFive Cents
Main FeaturesThomas Jefferson Portrait, and his Monticello home on the reverse
MintMark:D (Denver)
Mintage number1,787,297,160
Alloy (metal)75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Weight5.00 g
Diameter21.21 mm
Edge typeSmooth (Plain)
DesignerFelix Schlag

History Of The 1964 Jefferson Nickel

The US mints made the first Jefferson coins on October 3, 1938. Schlag was chosen ahead of other candidates to design the renowned coin because they wanted a design that featured Thomas Jefferson’s likeness and his estate. At the time, nickel was critical in manufacturing weapons such as armored tanks used in World War I.

As a result, Nickel and Jefferson Nickel coins were widely hoarded. The US Congress created a policy to reduce the amount of nickel in Jefferson’s currency as a temporary measure to regulate the level of nickel supply. Because of this, US mints produced Jefferson coins using manganese, copper, and silver alloy.

The US mints produced a record 1,000,000,000+ Jefferson Nickel coins in 1964, making this series historical. The mints wanted to make up for the early 1960s hoarding-related shortage of silver coins in circulation. The 1964 series of Jefferson nickels had a delicate, sharp appearance due to the use of higher quality dies than Jefferson nickels struck at the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s.

Reason For Minting

The third president of the United States of America, Thomas Jefferson, was the inspiration behind the creation of the Jefferson Nickel coin. He was instrumental in developing the country’s monetary system and thus deserved to be recognized.


Due to increased production, the amount of 1964 nickel coins produced was significantly higher than in previous years. In 1964, the coin was struck by two mints: Philadelphia and Denver. In contrast to the branch mint in Denver, which produced 1,797,297,160 Jefferson Nickel coins, the main mint produced 1,028 622,762 coins.

SEE: Morgan Silver Dollar Value

Features of The 1964 Jefferson Nickel

1964 Nickel

The Jefferson silver coin is an iconic coin with several distinct features. The features on each side of the coin are explained below: 


The obverse side of the coin features a portrait of Thomas Jefferson facing left in the center. His left shoulder of Jefferson touches the lower edge of the coin, and his head is almost in line with the upper margin.

Along the left margin, the inscription “IN GOD WE TRUST” runs clockwise from Jefferson’s chest to his upper hairline. The word “LIBERTY” and the year (1964) are inscribed behind Thomas Jefferson, clockwise along the right margin. A five-pointed star separates the two words.


The front of the president’s mansion, known as “Monticello,” is depicted on the coin’s reverse. The president’s actual residence was created using Italian Renaissance-era architectural styles.

The house fills the majority of the obverse face, and below it, in a single line of text, is the word “MONTICELLO.” The words “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” written clockwise, are inscribed in the upper margin.

The word “MONTICELLO” is curved beneath the coin’s denomination (FIVE CENTS). An additional inscription, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” runs clockwise around the lower edge of the coin below the face value.

It’s interesting to note that Schlag’s initials weren’t added to all Jefferson nickels until 1966.


The 1964 series of Jefferson nickels also feature symbolic slogans. A deeper look at the coin reveals the following slogans:


The Latin expression means “out of many, one.” According to the slogan, the United States of America is made up of 50 separate states that have come together to form one big country.


The word “Liberty is a founding principle that denotes the freedom enjoyed in the country despite past civil wars and global wars.


The adage is frequently used to convey religious sentiments held by certain groups of Americans.


The Italian word “Monticello” literally translates to “little mountain” (mound). The name came from the President’s Italian architectural design for his home.

Mint Marks

The mint mark, which identifies the location of the mint that struck the coin, is a crucial identification component. Every Jefferson Nickel coin produced between 1938 and 1964 has a mint mark on the back.

The mint mark is near the President’s Monticello on the far right side of the coin. The “D” mint mark is the one that appears most frequently on 1964 Jefferson Nickels (Denver). However, 1964 Philadelphia mint Jefferson nickels have no mint mark.

Metal Used

The 1964 Jefferson coin is a piece of composite metal that resembles silver. The Jefferson coin does not contain any silver, though. It has 25% nickel and 75% copper. The diameter of the Jefferson nickel is 21.2 mm, and its weight is 5 grams. Additionally, the edge is smooth.

SEE: What is the Value of a Bicentennial Quarter?

Value Of The 1964 Jefferson Nickel

The most widely used nickel series produced by US mints is the 1964 Jefferson Nickel. So, it retains its five-cent value under all circulated conditions. In pristine condition, the coin might fetch higher prices. The following are some of the coin’s numismatic market prices:

Denominational Value

The coin has a face value of five cents, and the value is printed on the back, close to Monticello.

What Is The Metal Value Of A 1964 Jefferson Nickel?

Jefferson coins from the 1964 series contain 25% nickel and 75% copper. Nickel’s melt value is $0.0227, while copper is $0.0339. Therefore, the melt value of the coin is $0.0567. Melt value is a moving target because it is based on the spot prices for copper and nickel at the moment.

How Much Does The 1964 Jefferson Nickel Cost At The Pawnshop?

The value of Jefferson nickels at the pawnshop ranges from 5 cents to 0.50 cents for circulated coins and from $0.27 to $8.91 or more for uncirculated coins. Your MS+ Jefferson nickel could fetch $43 at auction if it has been professionally certified. Because the main mint produced 3.9 million proof coins in 1964, a proof coin is valued at $2 or slightly more.

Comparison Table Highlighting the 1964 Nickel’s Value:

Condition19641964 DProof (PR 65)
Extremely Fine0.050.05

Factors That Determine The 1964 Nickel Value

Coin enthusiasts are constantly looking for valuable coins to finish their collection of Jefferson coins. To command a higher price from collectors, your coin must adhere to certain specifications. The following are typical factors that influence the 1964 Jefferson Nickel’s value:

Full Steps

The best level of step preservation at the President’s Monticello defines it as having a unique quality. A coin with full steps has no minting flaws, good relief, and at least five steps of the house in perfect condition. Many coin collectors prefer coins with full steps because it redefines the coin’s value. 1964 Full steps on Jefferson nickel coins are uncommon and in high demand. If you own one, its value will be ten times or more than its traditional value.


Jefferson’s nickels are valued according to their condition, and the best examples are those with brand-new, original features. The most valuable nickel coins are those in the highest grades. The four main standards that will help you comprehend how a grading service will value your coin are listed as follows:


The highest grade available for the Jefferson coin is uncirculated. Uncirculated coins have a limited circulation life and show no signs of wear from handling. Your Jefferson Nickel should still have its original characteristics and look mint-new in this condition. On closer inspection, the cheeks and mouth’s high and low points are all uniform and match each other perfectly in terms of texture, tone, and luster.

Extremely Fine

A Jefferson 1964 Nickle coin in extremely fine condition may have minor surface scratches. It has dull high points and a slight color change. The cheeks are smooth, and the raised areas around the cheeks and mouth are flat. However, the damage shouldn’t be apparent without a close look through a magnifying glass.


1964 Nickle coin in fine condition has been in circulation for a longer period and shows visible signs of surface wear. Most facial features are smooth, and the cheeks integrate into the brows and jaws. Jefferson also has smooth hair that doesn’t have any visible hair strands in it.


Due to extensive use and handling, these coins have significant flaws, including scratches, discoloration, and dents. Coin collectors might steer clear of your coin in this condition.

Valuable Minting Error

The 1964 Nickels may contain unique minting errors, just like coins of other denominations. Some examples of errors are re-punched mint marks, missing dates, and double or triple dies. Jefferson error coins can be worth hundreds to thousands of dollars. The 1964 Triple die reverse proof coin is a classic example, with 11 copies registered by the PCGS.

SEE: 2009 Penny: Features and Value

1964 Jefferson Nickel Value FAQs

1. Why Do We Have So Many Jefferson Nickels from 1964?

The massive mintage of 1964 Nickels was caused by massive silver hoarding, which resulted in rising silver prices. As a result, the US Congress approved a bill in 1965 that permitted mints to strike nickel coins bearing the year 1964. More nickel coins would help alleviate the coin shortage at the time.

2. Which Is The Rarest 1964 Nickel?

The most uncommon Jefferson Nickel coin is the 1964 SMS. It has an exceptionally fine strike, a stunning design, and an MS 65 value of $8,750.

3. Which Are The Most Valued 1964 Nickels?

Some of the most valuable nickels can only be found in uncirculated form, which explains their exorbitant prices. They display an authentic appearance of their subtle features, which includes the entire Monticello steps. They consist of the following:

  • 1964 SMS FS: valued at $8,625-$32,900
  • 1964 D FS: valued at $6,325
  • 1964 FS: valued at $14,100
  • 1964 D/D: valued at $4,015
  • 1964 SMS: valued at $4,140

Final Thoughts

One of the enduring nickel coin series produced by the US mints is the 1964 Jefferson Nickel. It is a famous currency with a profile bust of former President Thomas Jefferson and his luxurious Monticello. Despite its five-cent value, it is worth thousands of dollars in MS+ conditions. Additionally, full-step coins with distinctive minting errors command higher prices.

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