Skip to Content

1948 Nickel Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

1948 Nickel Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

Are you wondering how much a 1948 nickel you have is worth? You’re in luck, then! A 1948 nickel’s worth might change based on its rarity and condition. But don’t worry; we’re here to guide you through the process.

Additionally, we’ll give you a sneak peek into the intriguing background and significance of the 1948 nickel, otherwise known as the Jefferson nickel. You won’t want to miss this, whether you’re an experienced collector or just trying to make money off a coin you discovered in your pocket.

That said, let’s delve in and find out what your 1948 nickel is worth.

The 1948 Nickel Details

So, you’ve got a 1948 nickel in your hand and probably wondering what makes it unique. Well, it might interest you to know that the 1948 nickel is a pretty cool coin.

Let’s talk about the design of the 1948 nickel and explain what makes it a real beauty! The front of the coin features a profile of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, facing left. The artist, Felix Schlag, won a competition held by the US Mint to design this new nickel. To the left of Jefferson’s profile, you’ll see the inscription “IN GOD WE TRUST.” On the right side of Jefferson’s bust is the inscription “LIBERTY” and the year “1948.”

Flip the coin over, and you’ll be greeted by an image of Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, located in Virginia. Felix Schlag also created this design, and it’s just as beautiful as the front.

The image of Monticello sits in the center, and above and below it, you’ll see the inscription “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” Just below Monticello are the inscriptions “MONTICELLO,” “FIVE CENTS,” and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” in that order. The Monticello design is a true classic and is still used on the Jefferson nickel series today.

One of the things that makes the 1948 nickel unique is that it features the original design that was first introduced in 1938, and it’s been well-preserved in many cases. However, it’s not just the design that makes it unique; it’s also historically significant. It was minted shortly after World War II, which ended in 1945, making it a significant coin in the history of the United States. This coin offers a great way to own a piece of history and is a great addition to any collection.

The United States Mint made them in three different locations: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. And here’s the thing, each of these places has its unique mark on the coin, called a mint mark.

You might be wondering, what’s a mint mark? It’s a tiny letter on the coin that tells you where it was made. If the nickel has no letter, it was definitely made in Philadelphia. Nickels with a “D” mint mark suggest they were struck in Denver, while the “S” mint mark implies coins manufactured in San Francisco.

Now, these mint marks can affect the coin’s value. For example, nickels from the San Francisco mint are usually more expensive since they were made in smaller numbers. Also, there’s a fascinating and extremely rare version of this coin, struck on a silver planchet instead of the usual copper-nickel one. This coin is scarce and can fetch thousands of dollars. So, if you’re lucky enough to come across one of these, you might want to hold onto it tightly! It’s a real treasure.

One more thing to remember about the 1948 nickel is its material — an alloy comprising 75% copper and 25% nickel. Lastly, these coins weigh 5 g and measure 21.2 mm and 1.95 mm in diameter and thickness, respectively.

Below is a summary of the coin’s information:

  • Type: Jefferson nickel
  • Year of minting: 1948
  • Mint: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
  • Total Mintage: 145,382,000
  • Face Value: $0.05 (Five cents)
  • Edge: Plain
  • Designer: Felix Schlag (obverse and reverse)
  • Composition: 75% copper and 25% Nickel
  • Diameter: 21.2 mm
  • Thickness: 1.95 mm
  • Mass: 5 g

The 1948 Nickel Value Chart

In the following table, we highlight the values of each 1948 nickel grade and variant:

Mint Mark Good (G4) Fine (F12) Extremely Fine (EF40) Uncirculated Condition (MS 60) 
1948 No Mint Mark Nickel Value $0.35 $0.35 $0.40 $1,650
1948 “D” Nickel Value $0.30 $0.80 $0.90 $867
1948 “S” Nickel Value $0.30 $0.55 $0.60 $1,200

The 1948 Nickel Value and Varieties Guides

In this part of the guide, we examine the different 1948 nickels and their respective details.

1948 No Mint Mark Nickel Value

  • Type: Jefferson nickel
  • Year of minting: 1948
  • Mint: No mint mark
  • Mintage: 89,348,000
  • Face Value: $0.05 (Five cents)
  • $ Price: $25–$1,200 (NGC)
  • Edge: Plain
  • Designer: Felix Schlag (obverse and reverse)
  • Composition: 75% copper and 25% nickel
  • Diameter: 21.2 mm
  • Thickness: 1.95 mm
  • Mass: 5 g

The 1948 No Mint Mark Nickel was produced in large quantities, and over 89 million coins were minted that year. This makes it a relatively common coin and one that you might be able to find in circulation or at a coin show.

The coin’s reverse design, however, is what makes the 1948 nickel so intriguing to collectors. The Monticello is the main focal point of the coin’s reverse design. A 1948 Jefferson Nickel With No Mint Mark can often be found in circulated condition up to MS65, the standard grade. However, it’s quite challenging to locate the 1948 nickel in grade MS66 or better, as just a small number of these pieces remain in existence.

Because of their rarity, collectors prize them greatly. You’ll have a priceless addition to your collection if you’re fortunate enough to discover one of these coins at grade MS66 or above.

A 1948 nickel in the circulated condition is generally worth around $0.35 to $0.40. However, if the coin is uncirculated and has no signs of wear, it can be worth around $1,200 or more.

1948 “D” Nickel  Value

1948 “D” Nickel  Value

Image: pcgs

  • Type: Jefferson nickel
  • Year of minting: 1948
  • Mint: Denver
  • Mintage: 44,734,000
  • Face Value: $0.05 (Five cents)
  • $ Price: $25–$195 (NGC)
  • Edge: Plain
  • Designer: Felix Schlag (obverse and reverse)
  • Composition: 75% copper and 25% Nickel
  • Diameter: 21.2 mm
  • Thickness: 1.95 mm
  • Mass: 5 g

Collectors value the 1948 “D” Nickel because it was produced in Denver and features a distinctive “D” mint mark on the left side of Monticello on the reverse.

Before the war, Denver-minted coins were considered to be more excellent than those struck in Philadelphia and San Francisco. However, after the war, the quality deteriorated slightly, but it was still better than earlier coins from the other mints.

If you have a circulated variant of this coin, it’s worth anywhere from 30 cents to 90 cents, but its value increases to up to $195 if uncirculated. If you have one of them, it could be an excellent addition to your coin collection.

The 1948 “S” Nickel Value

The 1948 “S” Nickel Value

  • Type: Jefferson nickel
  • Year of minting: 1948
  • Mint: San Francisco
  • Mintage: 11,300,000
  • Face Value: $0.05 (Five cents)
  • $ Price: $20–$75 (NGC)
  • Edge: Plain
  • Designer: Felix Schlag (obverse and reverse)
  • Composition: 75% copper and 25% nickel
  • Diameter: 21.2 mm
  • Thickness: 1.95 mm
  • Mass: 5 g

The 1948 Jefferson nickel with the “S” mint mark is a real treat for coin collectors. Not only is it the rarest of the three variations, but it also has an interesting story behind it. The “S” mint mark tells us that it was made at the San Francisco Mint, which produced over 11 million of these coins.

Despite their rarity, these coins are relatively easy to find in average circulated conditions, with values of around 30–60 cents. However, if the coin is uncirculated, in grades ranging from MS60 to MS65, it can be worth anywhere from 70 cents to $20. If you’re lucky enough to find one in MS67 pristine state condition, it can sell for up to $75.

The 1948 Nickel History

The 1948 Nickel

The 1948 nickel is a unique coin in American history, as it was minted in a significant period for the country. The year 1948 was shortly after the end of World War II when the country was recovering from the war and looking forward to a bright future. At this time, the economy was booming, and people were excited about what was to come. So, owning a coin from that year is like owning a piece of history.

The Jefferson nickel series first came to exist in 1938 to honor Thomas Jefferson and his contributions to the country, including his role in drafting the Declaration of Independence. The coin was designed by Felix Schlag, who won a competition to design it in 1938. He was also awarded a cash prize of $1,000 for his design.

However, during World War II, nickel was an essential material for the war effort, and the government passed the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942 to conserve nickel for the war. This act required the US Mint to reduce the amount of nickel employed in producing five-cent coins, also known as nickels. To comply with this act, the Mint decided to alter the nickel’s composition to a mixture of copper, silver, and a small amount of manganese. This was used to produce the Jefferson nickels between 1942 and 1945.

This change in composition also resulted in changes to the coin’s design, as the new composition resulted in a different color and weight than the previously struck nickel. While the new coin was slightly smaller than the previous ones, the changes weren’t significant enough to affect its circulation. After the war—1946 precisely—the nickel’s composition was changed back to its original composition of 75% copper and 25% nickel to restore the nickel to its traditional appearance.

Overall, the 1948 nickel is a valuable coin for coin collectors, and for various reasons. For one thing, it was the first nickel to feature the portrait of Thomas Jefferson.

1948 Nickel Grading

The 1948 nickel can be graded based on its condition. The most common grades are Good, Fine, and Uncirculated. A coin in Good condition will show wear and may have damage, while a Fine coin will have less wear but some minor defects. An Uncirculated coin will show no wear and will have no damage.

This video explains how to know the grade of your Jefferson nickel.

Lists of the 1948 Nickel Errors

An error Jefferson nickel can be worth more than its face value. These coins can be quite valuable to collectors as they’re often considered unique and exciting pieces of numismatic history.

Some of these errors are discussed below:

1. 1948 Nickel Repunched Mintmark Error

The 1948 Repunched Mintmark Nickel is a fascinating and uncommon error coin. This inaccuracy is pretty distinctive and is an excellent example of how mistakes can occur during the coin fabrication process.

The repunched mintmark error is generated by a mint worker punching the mintmark into the die twice, resulting in a doubled or repunched mintmark. The 1948 nickel is scarce, and the repunched mintmark error increases its scarcity and value. It might be worth anything from $7 to $15. The condition of the coin, as with any coin error, will also play a role in deciding its worth.

2. 1948 Nickel Double Died Error

This error occurs when the die that transferred the design to the blank coin wasn’t correctly aligned with the coin underneath during the striking process.

Due to this, the design on the coin is slightly doubled, producing a highly noticeable and definite doubling of the picture. This error is visible in Jefferson’s eye and other inscribed areas on the coin.

Coin collectors are particularly interested in this error since it’s uncommon and create a distinctive and eye-catching aesthetic effect. Rarely do you come across a coin with an image that’s so obviously doubled. Keep hold of it firmly if you ever come upon one of these coins, as it might be worth $25 to $50.

3. 1958 Nickel Die Break Error

Another intriguing incident in numismatic history is the 1948 die-break nickel error. The die break error happens when a tiny piece of the coin-striking die breaks off and becomes stuck in the die. This causes an unintentionally raised coin area, frequently appearing as a raised line or blob.

The 1948 Die Break Nickel Error is particularly recognizable since it appears on the rear of the coin, towards the rim, and has an extended appearance, making it stand out quite a bit compared to a typical nickel from 1948. This error is also relatively uncommon, making it a highly desirable coin among collectors. It could be valued at anything from $3 to $100.

1948 Nickel Value FAQ

Is the 1948 nickel real silver?

No, the 1948 nickel has no precious metal value. The coin is composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel.

What makes the 1948 nickel valuable?

The 1948 nickel is valuable for several reasons. First, these nickels are among those struck with the copper-nickel alloy. As a result, some collectors are willing to pay a premium for this piece. The coin’s quality, rarity, and demand all play a role in establishing its value. A 1948 nickel in good condition is worth more than one in bad shape.

Conclusion

The 1948 Nickel is one hot commodity! If you’re lucky enough to come across one of these bad boys, hold onto it tight because it could be worth a pretty penny or more. Collectors highly prize these coins, and their value will only keep increasing. Just make sure to get it authenticated before making any big moves.