On average, most American citizens have no clue that Silver Nickels ever existed and how could they? After all, nickels are made from nickel, aren't they? In most cases, yes. However, the silver nickels do exist and were were produced from 1942-1945 during the 2nd World War (World War II). Nickel was needed to advance the war effort (bullets and weapons) and the United States Government turned its eyes onto the current-day pocket-change. Nickels bearing the name of their metal composition, experienced a big change on October 8, 1942. At that point, they started being produced in an alloy of copper, silver and manganese. In addition to those alterations, a large Mint Mark was placed on the Reverse (or back) of the coin above the Monticello in hopes of taking these coins out of circulation after the emergency issues were no longer needed. Yet, these silver 5-cent pieces can still be found in circulation today.
Precious Metals are measured in Troy Ounces. There is relatively 31.103 grams or 1.097 ounces per Troy ounce. This is essential when trying to calculate the value of your Silver War Nickels. Each nickel has roughly .05626 troy ounces of silver per coin. You will need to determine the Current Spot or Market Price for Silver. (There are many charts online that provide information on the day-by-day, current price of silver, but we prefer to use Kitco's as it seems most accurate and easy to read.)
To calculate the value of a silver Jefferson Nickel you need to take current spot price and multiply by the troy ounce(s) of 1 Silver Nickel. For example, if silver is $20 per troy ounce it would look like this: ($20.00 x 0.05626 = $1.125 per Nickel), which means that each silver War Nickel you own is worth $1.12! If you had ten War Nickels, that’s $11.20. One-hundred would be $112.20! (You get the idea!)
(Note: Some 1942-1945 Silver Jefferson Nickels in better condition can carry a premium that is more than just their Silver Melt Value. Also, complete sets of 11 coins carry premiums as well. A complete set includes 1942 P & S, 1943 PDS, 1944 PDS, and 1945 PDS (shown below). Remember, only Jefferson Nickels with the mint mark above the Monticello on the back have a 35% silver content. Some Nickels were produced in 1942 before the change.)