1974 Jefferson Nickel Value Guide

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The 1974 Jefferson nickel is made of 75% copper and 25% nickel. It has a mass of 5 grams and a diameter of 21.21 millimeters. This 5-cent coin has a plain edge and was once called “Wartime Nickels.

The US Mint needed to remove nickel from the 5-cent coin because nickel was needed to win the war against the Axis power.

The 1974 nickel design includes Thomas Jefferson on the obverse and his mansion, Monticello, on the reverse. Felix Schlag prepared the original design, which was used from 1938 to 2004.

The image of Jefferson was changed to an image that faces forward, which Jamie Franki designed.

The Jefferson nickel replaced the Buffalo (Indian Head) nickel. Although the Buffalo nickel is considered today a beautiful design, it is difficult to mint, and its lifespan is too short. 

It easily breaks, and the surface can quickly get scratched. So, after 25 years of minting, the Jefferson nickel was born.

The US Mint announced that there would be a design competition. Initially, only a few people joined. However, when the time was almost over, many artists submitted their work. 

It shows that many were interested in winning the competition because of the $1,000 prize.

Eventually, Felix Schlag won the competition. The US president at that time, Roosevelt, also liked the design of Schlag as well as Nellie Tayloe Ross, the mint director.

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