How Much Is A 1942 Nickel Worth? (2022 EXACT Value)

Last Updated on March 29, 2022

Rare nickels are now benefiting from a resurgence in collector’s demand.

Even though several treasured nickels aren’t seen that often anymore, you might be lucky enough to find some at auctions bids, antique or souvenir shops and even garage sales.

One of these nickels include the one made in 1942; read on below to see what it’s worth now!

How Much Is a 1942 Nickel Worth?

The worth of the 1942 Jefferson nickel depends on its type as the value varies accordingly.

The Nickels produced in 1942 were of several types; however, the main two includes the “War Nickle”, which contained silver and the other standard nickel made with the typical alloy. Before going into the details about the worth of these coins, it’s crucial to know that their value depends on various factors, the mintmark and grading condition being the most important.  

Starting off with the war nickel, it’s 35% silver, 56% copper, and 9% manganese. To differentiate the silver nickel from the standard one, all you’ve got to do is look at the “P” or “S” mintmark present above the Monticello picture; if present, then it’s a silver coin.

If the condition of the P minted coin is very fine, then it’s worth approximately $2.50 whereas an extremely fine condition of the silver nickel would be of $3. If the coin is uncirculated, an MS 60 grade will place its worth at $7, while an MS 65 grade coin can be around $20.

The highest value of P nickel is $110 if its condition is PR 65. The value of the 1942 S minted nickel is the same as the P one; however, an MS 65 grade of uncirculated S Nickle can be of $25.

1942-P U.S. Jefferson "Wartime Silver" Nickel-40% Silver

On the other hand, the standard nickels are made from 75% copper and the remaining 25% nickel. If the spot above the Monticello is empty or marked “D”, then it’s identifiable as a typical nickel that does not contain silver.

The copper variety nickel with no mintmark values at about $0.30; however, the price can increase depending on its state. If the coin is in extremely fine condition, then it’ll sell for almost $0.45. An uncirculated nickel with an MS60 grade costs $4, while an MS 63 grade is for $15. The value of this coin can go up to approximately $90 if the condition is PR 65.

The standard nickel coin with a D mint mark is worth more than the one with no mark. For example, an extremely fine condition would sell for $2, the uncirculated coin of the grade MS 60 would be almost $28, and the MS 63 grades value would be of $60.

What Is The Grading System Of The Nickel Coins?

The grades speak about the condition the coin is present in. This helps to determine what the value of the coin is supposed to be.

  1. PR 65 proof: It’s a condition in which the coin is unscathed except for a few unnoticeable blemishes.
  2. Uncirculated MS 60: Some stains or marks can be visualized; however, there will be no apparent damage.
  3. Uncirculated MS 65: There will be a shine on the coin with just a few light marks that aren’t easily seen.
  4. Mint Condition: A coin is considered to be of mint state when it hasn’t worn down on the surface. The texture and shine can be fully appreciated as well.
  5. Extremely fine condition: The details of the coin are present in this condition; however, most of the luster is gone. Instead, a smooth surface can be found, and the wear can be seen only at the high points.
  6. Fine condition: In this, it’s easy to identify the wear. There will be multiple flattened areas present that will be disconnected from each other.

What Is The Error On a 1942 Nickel?

The 1942 standard nickel with the “D” mint mark had an error present known as the “D over Horizontal D”. The D on the coin, if looked at carefully, is seen to be printed on top of another mark, which is also a “D”. This occurred when one of the workers accidentally put the mint mark in the position it wasn’t supposed to be in. Only a few coins contain this error, making it a rare find.  

Jackie Palmer is a Houston-based coin journalist and fashion enthusiast. She joined Jewels Advisor’s content team after years of experience as a content strategist, managing blogs and social channels for local stores. Jackie mostly collects and studies US coins produced during the 20th century and over the years, published hundreds of articles for multiple coin publications.