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War is hell, especially on money. Metal was scarce during World War II. Just ask a Jefferson nickel, made of 56% copper, 35% silver and 9% manganese (the Sacagawea Dollar US silver coin also uses manganese).
In 1943, when the US war effort was in full swing, the US mint produced a Doubled Die obverse silver coin proof in Philadelphia. This meant that Monticello was doubled. Regular strike silver coins from 1939, when the US was considering entering the war, also have doubled Monticello portraits. In MS-66, a regular strike US silver coin Jefferson nickel from 1939 is worth $7,000. In proof MS-67, a doubled die obverse can sell for $2,750.
What does a doubled-die error look like? Was it the stress of battle that caused this valuable US silver coin mistake? Hardly. PCGS defines a "doubled die" as a die that has been struck more than once by a hub in misaligned positions, resulting in doubling of design elements. You look for two Monticellos on the reverse of a wartime Jefferson nickel. Other doubled-die silver coins exist in the Jefferson series, and they're amazingly easy to collect, as well as highly sought-after.
While you're profiting from World War II, don't forget to use your newfound wealth to treat your grandpa and grandma from the Greatest Generation. Listen to their war stories. Show them your Jefferson nickels. The memories you'll receive are worth more than the highest price you'd get at auction.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|