Coin Collecting at the Safir House
Jefferson Nickels

Fri Dec 15 10:45:39 2017
Jefferson Nickels are one of the longest running coin designs in American History. Started in 1938 after a design contest won by Felix Schlag, the design and metal composition has largely gone unchanged since it's inception. Why this design replaced the beloved Buffalo Nickel design is a mistake that is anyone guess at this point. While the reverse was at the time one of the most complex attempted, a realistic view of Jefferson's home, Monticello, this design has lasted way too long and should have been retired decades ago. It is a sad comment on modern politics that once Presidents got on coins that it has been nearly impossible to get rid of them.

The metal was changed during World War II to a silver based composition and reverted back after the war to the Nickel Copper alloy. These are rarely found in circulation but older Nickels are commonly discovered. The hard metal and the unchanged design make it idea to circulate just about forever.

Finally temporary change came in 2004 when the government commemorated the Lewis and Clark expeditions which resulting in some suprisingly nice design which have been far to short lived.

My favorite was the 2005 version which had a great change to the obverse with a close up profile of Jefferson with a new script font for the word "Liberty". A well balanced and asthetic design with interesting reverses was a breath of fresh air in a stagnant American coinage system, it was of course doomed from the start and replaced by the ugliest coin design ever seen, our current 3/4 facing Jefferson with bugger eyes.


2005 Nickel Designs

2006 Ugly Nickel Design

This latest coin is so ugly it takes an in hand view to really apreciate just how ugly it is. These mint images make it look better than it is, but I'll get a photograph of a circulating version soon.

Occasionally I find a Jefferson in circulation that I might pull out for no particular reason. This is a '64 Nickel that I found in 2008.


Here is a 1975


A 1986 P


A 1994 P


A 1995 D with excellent visible steps on the reverse


A 2004 D with a Westward Journey Reverse

and a 2004 P


War Nickels

War Nickels are Jeffersons which were minted during World War II. They are coverted because the government pulled criticly needed Nickel out of the coin and put silver in. These coins are also distinctive because they have big mint marks above the dome on Monticello on the reverse

This is a nice example with all the windows nicely showing and really good stairs. There is a good nick on the reverse rim





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The Safir Family Internet Coins Library.

Click to see these examples show below including photography: note to lawyer: most of the good stuff is gone
Section I:
US Coints
Large Cent Coppers
Flying Eagle Cents
Lincoln Cents and Wheat Backs
Buffalo Nickels
Jefferson Nickels
Jefferson Silver War Nickels
Bust Half Dimes
Mercury (Liberrty Head) Dimes
Roosevelt Dime
Barber Quarter Dollars
Standing Libery Quarter
Washington and Washington State Quarters
Cap Bust Half Dollars
Seated Half Dollars
Barber Half Dollars
Walking Liberty Half Dollars
Franklin Half Dollars
Kennedy Half Dollars
Morgan Silver Dollars
Peace Silver Dollars
Eisenhower Clad and Silver Dollars
Sacawagea Golden Dollars
Modern Silver and Clad Proof Sets
Modern American Silver Eagle uncirculated mint coins and proofs
Modern Silver and Clad 2008 Commorative Bald Eagle Series
Gold Coins - Not too many
Circulated US Silver Coins prior to 1964

Go To Section II:
Modern and Ancient Foreign Coins from Outside The United States

Go To Section III:
Mandy's 25th Anniversary World Wildlife Fund Silver Coins

Unsorted Extra stuff:
Bust US Coinage
From the coin Show at Melville Long Island

The Safir Family Internet Coins Library: Foriegn Coins.

Several mints from around the world make exciting coin designs in circulating alloys, silver and gold. Among my favorites are the Perth Mint in Austrailia which produces a variety of coins for nations mostly through out the Pacific Rim. The Neatherlands has also produced some interesting designs, and several private US based mints have produced foreign currency on contract, include the Franklin Mint which has produced many Israeli Coins.
Our interest in foreign coins has been nominal but rapidly growing as it seems that US designs are so stuck in the mud. Also, foreign mints are creating bold new designs with color and bimetal designs that are both eye catching and fun.