In October of 1942, the U.S. Mint starting producing five-cent nickels composed of copper (56%), silver (35%) and manganese (9%). Before 1942, U.S. nickels were composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel. These new wartime silver alloy nickels were created to eliminate nickel, a critical war material for battle in the Europe and the Pacific. The U.S. had an enormous abundance of copper and silver, but needed to ration this nickel, so for 4 years, the nickel element was removed from the five cent piece. Nickel was used in the hardening of armor plate, mainly used in tanks.
From 1942-45, all silver alloy nickels that had a mintmark above the dome of Monticello, were composed of the 35% silver alloy (with one exception, the 1942-D nickels are not silver). This was the first time in U.S. coin history that the P (Philadelphia) mint mark appeared on coinage. With the 1942-D exception, all coins in this span with a P, S, or D mint mark are 35% silver.
So search those old buckets of coins for war-nickels. Today (6/8/19), they each have $0.84 worth of silver in them. I will pay 75% of the silver price in each coin, that’s over 12x more than the banks will give you!
Most people know that 90% silver coinage stopped being minted for circulation in 1964 in America, so finding these war nickels can be a little bonus in your coin hunting endeavors.
In addition to war nickels, I am always looking to buy American and Foreign Silver Coins – Nickels, Dimes, Quarters, Half Dollars, and Dollars, and Paper Currency too! I also sell all of these coins as well! Call or visit KC’s at 50 Market Square in Newington, CT for more information.