1964 Nickel

1964 Nickel: A Guide to its History, Features, and Value

Are you interested in collecting coins or just curious about the value of a 1964 nickel? Look no further! This comprehensive guide provides everything you need to know about the history, features, and value of the 1964 nickel.

From the design elements that make the 1964 nickel unique to the various mint mark variations and their values to the rare errors that can significantly increase a nickel’s worth, this guide will answer all of your questions and provide a thorough understanding of this vintage coin. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting to explore the fascinating world of coin collecting, this guide is sure to be a valuable resource. So, get ready to delve into the exciting world of the 1964 nickel!

Introduction to the 1964 Nickel

The 1964 nickel is a significant piece of United States coinage, as it marks the end of an era for the nickel denomination. With a rich history dating back to the early 20th century, the 1964 nickel is an interesting and collectible coin for both history buffs and coin enthusiasts alike.

1964 Nickel
1964 Nickel reverse

Background on Buffalo and Jefferson Nickels

The history of the 5-cent coin in the United States dates back to 1793, with the first-ever 5-cent coin being a silver half dime. Thomas Jefferson reportedly raided his cabinets for silverware to contribute to the creation of these first 1,500 silver half-dimes. However, during the Civil War, hoarding of coins became widespread, leading to the introduction of paper money to fill the gap. This was followed by the introduction of cupronickel 2-cent and 3-cent coins and eventually, the nickel, in 1866.

The nickel became increasingly popular, particularly with the rise of nickelodeons, slot machines, and other coin-operated devices. By 1906, Congress allowed other mints in Denver and San Francisco to produce nickels. The Buffalo Nickel (1913-1938) that came before the Jefferson Nickel was well-received by the public but proved challenging to produce as it quickly wore out the dies and the design became indistinct with circulation.

In 1938, the Jefferson Nickel was introduced as a replacement, designed by Felix Oscar Schlag who won a design contest and received $1,000 for his work. Although Schlag had to modify his initial design, the final version was approved and remained on the coin until 2004. The 1964 nickel is also a Jefferson nickel and is the last 5-cent coin to bear mint marks until 1968 due to a coin shortage in the 1960s. 1964 Nickels were produced at the Philadelphia and Denver mints, and are sometimes referred to as FS or Full Steps, with coins in good condition capable of selling for over $30,000.

The Design of the 1964 Nickel

Obverse and Reverse Features

The obverse of the 1964 nickel features a bust of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, facing left. The words “Liberty” and “In God, We Trust” are inscribed above and to the right of Jefferson’s bust. The date of mintage, “1964,” is located below Jefferson. On the reverse side, there is a depiction of Jefferson’s home, Monticello, set against a backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The words “United States of America” and “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of Many, One) are inscribed above the image. The denomination of the coin, “Five Cents,” is written at the bottom of the reverse.

Other Notable Features

One of the notable features of the 1964 nickel is the absence of mint marks. Due to a coin shortage in the 1960s, the mint stopped putting mint marks on coins to discourage silver stacking. As a result, the 1964 nickel was the last 5-cent coin to bear mint marks until 1968. It is important to note that only nickels from the Philadelphia and Denver mints were produced in 1964, as the San Francisco mint did not produce any.

In terms of its physical characteristics, the 1964 nickel is a 5g coin with a diameter of 21.21mm and a thickness of 1.95mm. It is made of a blend of 25% nickel and 75% copper, sometimes referred to as cupronickel or clad. The coin has a smooth edge without reeding.

It’s interesting to note that earlier Liberty Head nickels, also known as V nickels, were slightly wider at 22mm and did not have the word “CENTS” inscribed. These coins were susceptible to counterfeiting, so the Mint Engraver, Charles Barber, reduced their size to 21.21mm and added “CENTS” to prevent such instances.

The Value of 1964 Nickels

The value of 1964 nickels primarily hinges on their condition and rarity. It’s the scarcity of a specific variant and its demand among collectors that often drives its value. For a closer look at some of the most precious nickels, refer to our comprehensive post on the Most Valuable Nickels.

Mint Mark Variations and their Values

The 1964 Jefferson Nickel, with a mintage of 1,024,672,000, was struck in Philadelphia and is valued between 15 cents and $500 for Mint State coins. Proof coins generally carry a higher value. The presence of Five Full Steps (5FS) or Six Full Steps (6FS) at the base of Monticello on the reverse also affects the value. Nickels with a 5FS or 6FS designation are worth between $20 and $15,000.

1964-D Jefferson Nickel

The 1964-D Jefferson Nickel, struck in Denver with a mintage of 1,787,297,160, is valued between 15 cents and $520 for Mint State coins. There are no Proofs from Denver, but Prooflike nickels carry a premium in auctions. Issues with the 5FS and 6FS designations are currently worth between $20 and $4,300. These are just some of the factors that can elevate a Jefferson Nickel from common currency to a valuable collector’s item

Factors Affecting the Value of 1964 Nickels

The appearance of the coin, specifically the presence of Five Full Steps (5FS) or Six Full Steps (6FS) at the base of Monticello on the reverse, affects the value of the nickel. A grade of NGC MS 60 or higher, an uncirculated finish, and at least five full steps are specific criteria for the nickel to be eligible for a 5FS or 6FS designation. Nickels with this designation are worth more than circulated coins.

1964 Nickel Errors and Rarities

Overview of Error Types

The 1964 nickel is not immune to production errors, and there are several types of errors that can occur. Some of the most common include off-center strikes, double strikes, and strike-through errors. Other errors that may occur include die breaks, clipped planchets, and repunched mint marks. These errors can happen during the minting process, and the rarity of the error can affect the value of the coin.

1964 Nickel error

The Value of Rare 1964 Nickel Errors

Rarity is one of the key factors that affect the value of 1964 nickel errors. The rarer the error, the more valuable the coin is likely to be. Other factors that can affect the value include the type of error, the condition of the coin, and the demand for the error among collectors.

Coin errors can sometimes fetch higher prices than flawless coins, depending on the type of error. Here are some common errors on 1964 nickels and their respective values:

  1. Improperly Annealed Error – This error occurs when part of the nickel plating comes off during minting. The coin may have a silvery surface with a copper-toned splotch or vice versa. Although they look unique, they are not pricy, with a 1964 MS 62 nickel selling for $40.
  2. Broad struck with Obverse Brockage Error – This error occurs when the metal on the planchet spills over, causing the same mistake on both sides of the coin. A 1964 Broad struck MS 62 nickel is worth $55.
  3. Struck on a 1c Planchet – Nickels struck on penny planchets are easily identified by weighing the coin. They weigh 3.0g and are copper-toned. A 1964 nickel struck on a penny planchet sold for $180 in AU58, and $299 in MS 62 RB.
  4. Struck on a Philippine 10 Centavo Coin – This error is caused by striking a US coin on a planchet from the Philippines, a former US Territory. The coin weighs 2.06g and a 1964 MS 64 nickel sold for over $1,000.
  5. Broad struck with Obverse Brockage Indent – This blockage error occurs when there is a V-notch at the bottom of the coin, causing the same mistake on both sides of the coin. A 1964 MS 64 error sold for $90.
  6. Struck 55% Off-Centre on a Silver 10c Planchet – This error is made more valuable due to the silver content of the planchet. The 1964 nickel fetched over $1,000.
  7. Late Stage Brockage Error – This error occurs when the same mistake appears on both sides of the coin, creating a mirror image. In MS 62, a 1964 late-stage brockage error is worth $402.
  8. 100% Struck Through Obverse Cloth Error – This error occurs when an object gets between the die and the planchet during minting, leaving a visible imprint on the finished coin. A 1964 MS 64 nickel struck through with cloth sold for $862.
  9. Double-Punched Mint Mark Error – This error occurs when the planchet shifts between strikes, causing a double-punch error. A 1964 D/D FS RPM MS 65 sold for $2,800.
  10. Four Strikes Three Off-Centre – This error occurs when a coin is struck four times, with three of them being off-center. A high-grade coin with three errors in one fetched a high price.

These prices may vary and serve as a general guideline for coin errors on 1964 nickels.

Grading and Evaluating the Condition of 1964 Nickels

Determining the Grade of a 1964 Nickel

The grade of a 1964 nickel is a crucial factor in determining its value. It is a measure of the coin’s overall condition and ranges from poor to uncirculated. To determine the grade of a 1964 nickel, factors such as its strike, luster, and the presence of scratches, nicks, and discoloration are taken into account.

The Importance of Condition for 1964 Nickel Value

The condition of a 1964 nickel is crucial in determining its value. A coin in pristine condition will be worth significantly more than one that is heavily worn or damaged. The key factors that affect the condition of a 1964 nickel include wear and tear, contact with other coins or hard surfaces, and the passage of time. The better the condition of the coin, the higher its value. To get the most accurate evaluation of a 1964 nickel’s condition, it is recommended to have it professionally graded by an expert.


Is a nickel from 1964 worth anything?

The value of a 1964 nickel can vary depending on its condition and rarity. Some 1964 nickels can be worth only a few cents, while others can be worth several dollars or more.

How Much Does It Weigh?

A 1964 nickel weighs 5 grams, which is the standard weight for a nickel coin.

What makes a 1964 nickel rare?

A 1964 nickel can be considered rare if it has a unique error or anomaly, such as a double-struck or off-center strike. Additionally, some 1964 nickels were minted in limited quantities, which can also make them rare.

What is the error on a 1964 nickel?

The error on a 1964 nickel can vary and can include issues such as doubling, misalignment, or weak strikes. Some errors are more rare and more valuable than others.

Is a 1964 nickel pure silver?

No, a 1964 nickel is not pure silver. It is composed of a copper-nickel alloy, with the composition being 75% copper and 25% nickel.

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