War Nickels History
War Nickels tell an important history of America during the great World War II efforts. This was a time when global communities were working together for a unified effort. Shared hardship was common, and for a war this big-- the metal, nickel, was in great demand.
For the US Mint, this became a problem. For the first time in history, a nickel was minted with .350 or 35 percent silver metal content. Beginning in 1942 Jefferson Nickels were the first and only silver nickels in history. They are easily identified by the date, and by the large Mint mark that is placed over the dome of Monticello on its reverse. The regular nickel and copper-nickel coins do not have this.
The first of the Jefferson Nickels were minted in 1938. As was the tradition of the time, they were meant to commemorate and honor the presidency and accomplishments of Thomas Jefferson, third president from 1801-1809. His accomplishments were significant and a great desire to commemorate this was present in the American public. From the drafting of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, to the securing of the Louisiana Purchase, he also commissioned the Lewis and Clark expeditions that led to the unfortunate losses of the Indian Wars and the subsequent settlement of the West. This led to the development of the powerful new transportation option, the railways that still cross the continent today.