1943 was the height of World War II, and the United States Mint was busy striking coins for a bustling, wartime economy. Nearly 400 million five-cent coins were made in 1943, with the vast majority coming from the Philadelphia mint. 1943 five-cent coins, which actually contain an alloy comprised of 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese, don’t contain any nickel at all, a material that was saved for the war effort. However, many coin collectors refer to five-cent coins made during 1943 as “wartime nickels,” which is a misnomer colloquialism that has stuck throughout the years.
There were a couple interesting varieties that came from 1943 Jefferson five-cent coins, which you’ll see in the breakdown below:
1943-P, 271,165,000 minted; $2.75
1943-P 3 Over 2, mintage unknown; $55
1943-P Doubled Eye, mintage unknown; $35
1943-D, 15,294,000, $3
1943-S, 104,060,000; $2.75
*Values are for coins in Very Fine-20 condition.
While many Jefferson nickel collectors will skip past the 3/2 and doubled eye varieties, some five-cent coin connoisseurs will jump at the chance to include these two scarce varieties in their collections. Neither is extraordinarily expensive for coin collectors on middle-income budgets and will help add a little spice to their Jefferson nickel sets.