NEVER judge a book by its cover or a coin by its face value.
Certain coins gain and retain significant value over time, and collectors pay a premium for some coveted pieces.
Due to flaws, mintage, or age, many US coins have become exponentially more valuable than their face value suggests.
These include a range of extremely rare nickels that can sell for thousands or even millions, although technically they’re only worth five cents.
While President Thomas Jefferson has been featured on the nickel since 1938, no nickel bearing his likeness has ever sold for more than $50,000, according to data from the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).
Some of the most valuable nickels came from the Buffalo series, which saw the beast on the reverse or tail side of the coin from 1913 to 1938.
However, to find the most expensive nickel ever minted, you have to look a little further back in US history.
1. 1913 Liberty Head Nickel – $4,560,000
The 1913 Liberty Head Nickels are among the most well-known and coveted US coins in existence.
When the US Mint transitioned from the Liberty nickel series to Buffalo nickel in 1913, a handful of the last 1913 Liberty coins were produced.
According to PCGS, there are only five known specimens of the coin.
Two are permanently in museum collections, including one in the Smithsonian, leaving only three for collectors.
In 2021, a collector made more than $13 million by selling a 1913 Liberty Head along with an 1804 dollar and 1894 dime.
The highest single selling price for a 1913 Liberty Head nickel was $4.56 million for a proof coin at auction in 2018, according to PCGS.
2. 1918/17-D Nickel – $350,750
A small number of nickels made in Denver in 1918 contained an error that the US Mint was trying to hide.
If you look closely at the year stamped on the face of the coin, you may notice that the “8” in 1918 looks a bit distorted.
The top of the number is flat instead of rounded, and the middle appears thicker than it should.
This is because the coin incorrectly struck 1917 year and punched the year 1918 over it.
Today there are about 7,000 of these coins left, of which about 6,900 are in circulation.
“The 1918/7-D is certainly the rarest coin in the Buffalo nickel series and is one of the most important coins of the 20th century,” wrote former PCGS President David Hall.
At a 2006 auction tracked by PCGS, one of these coins sold in mint condition for $350,750.
3. 1926-S Buffalo Nickel – $322,000
More than 50 million nickels were minted in the USA in 1926.
The vast majority – about 44 million – were minted in Philadelphia, and another 5.6 million were made in Denver.
But only 970,000 nickels were made at the San Francisco Mint in 1926, and only 11,000 exist today, according to PCGS.
While the Denver nickels have some value, being worth over $100 in circulation, the 1926 S nickel is a valuable cut-off date coin.
A 1926-S coin in mint condition sold for a record $322,000 at auction in 2008, and circulating variations of the coin can sell for as much as $5,000.
A seller on eBay recently made just over $1,000 selling a 1926-S nickel.
4. 1916 doubled the Buffalo Nickel – $276,000
Like the 1918 nickel, some variations of the 1916 Buffalo nickel contain errors.
While the 1918 piece was initially stamped with the wrong year, the 1916 nickel had the correct year marking, but was stamped in two places.
Mint dies—the pieces of metal used to emboss emblems on coins—usually strike coins multiple times to emboss the image or text.
Due to misaligned dies, the letters, numbers and images on some coins appear as if they were stamped twice in slightly different places.
These double dice failures make coins immensely valuable, as usually only a small number of coins are affected when a failure occurs.
According to PCGS, more than 15,000 1916 Philadelphia nickels still exist, but only about 400 have double die errors.
Even in bad condition, these coins are worth at least $2,000 and can sell for more than $50,000 in circulation.
Uncirculated variations of the nickel sell for hundreds of thousands, including a record sale of $276,000 in 2008 for a 1926 double-stamped coin in mint condition.
The Sun revealed the most valuable coins minted since 2020.
We also listed the most valuable dollar coins,
https://www.the-sun.com/money/5659369/most-valuable-nickels-us/ The most valuable nickels worth up to $4.5 million or $130,000 – how to find one in your collection