- The 2015 Liberty Nickel has a value far greater than its nominal 5 cent worth, with uncirculated examples reaching up to $60.
- Its intrinsic value stems from the rarity of finding a “Full Steps” or FS coin in pristine condition.
- Jefferson Nickels, including the 2015 variant, are not made of silver but mostly of copper and nickel.
- Understanding the coin’s specifications and mint mark locations contributes to a more nuanced appreciation of the 2015 Liberty Nickel.
Discovering the Value of the 2015 Liberty Nickel
A seemingly ordinary coin, the 2015 Liberty Nickel, or Jefferson Nickel, surprises many by holding a value beyond its 5-cent denomination. This value greatly escalates for coins in nearly uncirculated (AU) condition or better. While the coin’s average circulated worth ranges from 5 to 10 cents, a pristine uncirculated example could fetch as high as $60 in coin collection circles. This staggering value increase is directly linked to a feature known as “Full Steps” or FS.
Understanding the Full Steps Phenomenon
“Full Steps” or FS refers to a specific characteristic on the reverse (tail side) of the Jefferson Nickel, showcasing the Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia home. The steps of Monticello are meticulously detailed in the design, but due to the coin production process, these steps often appear worn or incomplete in circulation. When a nickel exhibits a clear impression of at least five steps at the base of Monticello, it is deemed a Full Steps coin. The rarity of such coins, especially in impeccable condition, greatly enhances their value, making them a coveted item among coin collectors.
Materials Matter: The Composition of the 2015 Liberty Nickel
While some may mistakenly believe that the Liberty Nickel contains silver due to its appearance, it primarily consists of copper (75%) and nickel (25%). This composition gives the nickel its characteristic “silver” look. The exceptions are the nickels minted from 1942 to 1945, known as War Nickels, which contain 35% silver. However, to identify a War Nickel, a large mint mark above the Monticello monument is necessary.
Identifying Specifications and Mint Marks
Felix Schlag, the designer of the Jefferson Nickel, left a lasting legacy in the American numismatic world. Schlag’s initials were added below Jefferson’s bust on the obverse (head side) of the coin starting in 1966. In terms of physical properties, the Liberty Nickel has a diameter of 21.2 millimeters and weighs 5 grams.
The mint mark location varies depending on the minting year. Before 1968, it was located on the reverse side, to the right of the Monticello monument, except for the War Nickels (1942-1945), where it was situated on the reverse. However, for the years 1965, 1966, and 1967, there was no mint mark. Starting from 1968, the mint mark was moved to the obverse side, under the date.
Conclusion: The Hidden Value in Your Pocket
Although the 2015 Liberty Nickel might seem like a commonplace item, it carries a rich story and potential value far beyond its face worth. Its value extends from the clarity of the steps of Monticello on the reverse to its copper-nickel composition and varying mint mark locations. The 2015 Liberty Nickel serves as a brilliant example of how a simple piece of everyday currency can ascend to a prized possession among collectors, making us realize that there might be hidden treasures right in our pockets.