"SUN"'s Blog

21 Nov 2022

Coin Thoughts #126 by "SUN"

Coins | "SUN"


All nickel series had the reverse design modified within the first two years. In 1867, the second year of the Shield Nickels, the rays were removed on the reverse design. The Liberty Nickels had the word "CENTS" added to the reverse in the first year, 1883. 1913, the first year of the Buffalo Nickels, the words "FIVE CENTS" were lowered and centered on the reverse.

In 1939, the second year of the Jefferson Nickels, the steps on Monticello were better defined. What is known as the "Reverse of 1938" (photo with the "S" mint mark) the steps are not clearly defined. The steps are wavy,, uneven, and look mushy. What is known as the "Reverse of 1940" (photo with the "D" mint mark) the steps are sharp and straight.

It is estimated that 10% of the1939 nickels are found with the "Reverse of 1938." The proof nickels are mostly the "Reverse of 1938". 25% of the 1939-D nickels are found with the "Reverse of 1938." A little over half of the 1939-S nickels are found with the "Reverse of 1938."

Coin albums and folders do not allow spaces for these varieties like the other nickel series. It can be fun looking for these varieties and adding them to your collection at no additional cost.

Reference: A Guide Book of Buffalo and Jefferson Nickels by Q. David Bowers.



Level 6

Great information! I learned from this today. Gotta love those ol' Buffalo Nickels! Thanks SUN! ; )


Level 5

Excellent blog. I am trying to collect a date set of Jefferson Nickels NGC MS-66. Later I will try to add the varieties.


Level 6

Good luck in assembling the collection


Level 6

Thanks SUN. Very cool blog. I didn't know about these, VAMs, varieties. It's fun that the differences can be seen with the old eyeball. Thanks.


Level 4

Great blog. I am very interested in E/V coins, bu have nener really understood these varieties, thanks for the clarification!


Level 4

Nickels are very eye appealing when UNC. Very nice presentation. Nice blog!

Long Beard

Level 5

Two sweet Jeffersons! My impression on what to look for with the variety is the outer blocks making up railing/wall. On the 1938 it was thinner, thicker with the die refinement. If you see enough of them, it becomes clear to the naked eye. Thanks for the education on the other nickel series as well.


Level 5

Always enjoyed Jefferson nickels. They have a nice look uncirculated. Didn't know anything about varieties. Thanks for the great blog. Very nice.


Level 4

Nickels, so intriguing. Whether Buffalo or Jefferson, I’m always fascinated by the history behind it. Thanks for sharing this Sun.

AC coin$

Level 6

Beautiful coin.


Level 7

I didn't k ow that. Thank you for a good blog and real history. Its enjoyable to read. I learned something. Thanks

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