1946 Nickel Value (Rare Errors, No Mint Mark, Price)

The 1946 nickel is a fascinating coin worth more than its face value. Let’s get into the details.

1946 Nickel Value (no mintmark)

  • The most common 1946 nickel was produced at the Philadelphia Mint and bears no mintmark. Approximately 161,116,000 nickels were created.
  • A common worn 1946 Jefferson nickel is worth 7 to 10 cents, which exceeds its face value.
  • If your 1946 nickel is in mint condition or has an error or variation, it may be worth more.
  • Uncirculated 1946 Jefferson nickels are valued at $1 or more. The most valuable ones show all five or six steps at the base of Monticello.
  • For example, a 1946 Full Steps Jefferson cent graded MS66+ by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) went for $3,525.

1946-D Nickel Value (“D” mintmark)

  • The 1946-D Jefferson nickel was produced at the Denver Mint and has a “D” mintmark on the reverse near the rim.
  • Only 45,292,200 1946-D nickels were struck.
  • Average circulated 1946-D Jefferson nickels are valued 10 to 25 cents, but uncirculated specimens sell for $1.25 or more.
  • The most valued 1946-D Jefferson nickel ever sold was graded MS67 Full Steps by PCGS and sold for $8,625 at auction.

1946-S Nickel Value (“S” mintmark)

  • The 1946 Jefferson nickels created in the San Francisco mint are the rarest in the series, with a mintage of only 13,560,000 pieces.
  • They can be identified by the little “S” mintmark to the right of Monticello.
  • Circulated 1946-S nickels are valued 35 to 50 cents, while uncirculated specimens sell for $1.25 or more.

Rare Error Coins

  • Some 1946 nickels contain faults, such as being off center.
  • The most valuable off-center errors range from 10% to 20% off-center and can be worth $25 to $50.
  • A 1946 nickel that is 50% off-center but still displays the whole date and mintmark can fetch $100 or more.
YearMint MarkValue (Circulated)Value (Uncirculated)Notable Errors
1946No mintmark7-10 cents$1 and upOff-center, Full Steps
1946D10-25 cents$1.25 and upOff-center, Full Steps
1946S10-25 cents$1.25 and upOff-center, Full Steps

How do I grade my 1946 nickel?

To grade your 1946 nickel, follow these steps:

Inspect the Luster

  • Uncirculated 1946 nickels are graded first because they have fewer contacts and a higher shine.
  • Look for a shiny, uniform luster. There should be no fractures in the surface shine, as these would indicate wear from circulation.

Full Steps Evaluation

  • Full Steps nickels are the most valuable and in high demand among collectors.
  • To be rated as Full Steps, a coin must have at least five distinct and unblemished lines on the steps at Monticello’s base.
  • Only coins graded MS60 and higher can be considered full steps.

Date and Mintmark Variety

  • Please verify the date and mintmark combination on your 1946 nickel.
  • While 1946 is considered an available date, the San Francisco variety’s mintage is significantly lower than typical.

How do I preserve my 1946 nickel?

Preserving your 1946 nickel is critical for maintaining its value and condition. Here are some ways to help you keep it in top condition.

Handle with Care

Handle coins with clean hands to prevent oil, grime, or moisture transmission, and hold them by their edges to avoid touching any surfaces.


Store nickel in non-PVC holder or airtight capsule, consider acid-free coin flips or coin holders, and keep collection cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight.


Avoid cleaning your coin as it can damage its surface and decrease its value. Instead, gently remove dust with a soft brush or compressed air.

Avoid Abrasion

Store coins separately from other objects to prevent scratches, and use cotton gloves when handling coins to avoid accidental abrasion.

Environmental Factors

Store coins away from chemicals, smoke, or strong odors, and away from extreme temperature fluctuations.

Grading Services

Consider having your coin professionally graded by a reputable service for certified grade and protection.

1946 Nickel Value No Mint Mark

The 1946 nickel, struck at the Philadelphia Mint without a mint mark, produced approximately 161,116,000 of these nickels.

Very Fine28 cents
Extra Fine33 cents
AU (About Uncirculated)39 cents
Mint State 60 85 cents
Mint State 65$17

Nickels, often with no mint mark, have been released into circulation, maintaining their value close to face value, making even uncirculated examples affordable ( Rare High-Grade Examples -The Jefferson nickel, a well-preserved nickel, has been a popular choice among collectors, with notable auctions selling well-preserved examples like the 1946 MS 67 grade for $1,763 and $8,812.50.) .

1946 D Nickel Value

In 1946, the Denver Mint minted over 45,000,000 Jefferson nickels, making it the second-largest mintage. These coins, marked with the mint mark “D” on the reverse, were worth around 10 cents in average condition. However, some nickels, like the 1946-D MS 67 Jefferson nickel, reached significant prices at auctions, with one collector purchasing it for $1,265, and another for $8,6251, showcasing the value of these coins.

1946 S Nickel Value

Jefferson nickels from the San Francisco mint have the lowest mintage of 13,560,000 pieces, known by the “S” mint mark on the reverse. Despite this, the value of these rare coins remains relatively low, with circulated 1946-S nickels worth 35 to 50 cents and uncirculated specimens fetching $1.75 or more.

1946 Silver Nickel Error

Double Die Reverse Errors (DDR)

Check for doubling in Thomas Jefferson’s eye or on inscriptions such as “MONTICELLO” and “FIVE CENTS.”

Off-Center Strikes

This occurs when the dice strikes the same coin twice or three times. Off-center 1946 nickels can be valued $25 to $50 or more if they are significantly off-center.

Repunched mint marks (RPMs)

Look for evidence of the mintmark being punched more than once.

Inspecting Your Nickel

Examine Jefferson’s hair, collar, shoulder, and the area over his eye for signs of wear or dulling.
Examine the mintmark location to establish whether it is a Philadelphia (no mintmark), Denver (“D”), or San Francisco (“S”) nickel.

1946 nickel is it silver?

The 1946 nickel is not made of silver. Instead, it is composed of a blend of metals, primarily 75% copper and 25% nickel. This combination gives the coin its distinctive appearance and durability.

When did nickels stop being made of nickel ?

World War II Era (1942-1945)

  • During World War II (1942-1945), US nickels were manufactured with an alloy of 35% silver, 56% copper, and 9% manganese.
  • This alteration took place because nickel metal was required for the war effort.
  • These unique “war nickels” are distinguished by a big mint mark letter over the dome of Monticello on the back.

Post-War Composition (1946–present)

  • After WWII, the composition of nickels restored to its previous nickel level.
  • Since 1946, all other US nickels have been manufactured with a 75% copper, 25% nickel alloy.
  • The standard composition for circulating nickels remains unchanged to this day.

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