1955 Jefferson nickel demands focus.

All Jefferson nickels should have received more attention after the 2004 design modifications, although that attention was fleeting and did not raise costs. If Jeffersons continue to gain, the 1955 nickel set is worth watching.

Despite the popularity of 1955 coins, the Jefferson nickel has received little attention. One reason may be that they haven't raised prices dramatically. 1955 was a strong year for all denominations, which is likely more responsible. The 1955 was likely ignored despite nickels' good performance.

In 1955, things were complex. San Francisco stopped making coins, the year's first big news. At least, everyone expected coin production would end that year. Although things did not turn out that way, San Francisco would not create coins for over a decade, but in 1955, everyone thought that was the last creation, a cent and a dime.

San Francisco, known for low-mintage coins, delivered. Lincoln cent mintage (44,610,000) and dime mintage (18,510,000) were lowest since 1939. These two coins alone have people making holders for the “Last Coins of San Francisco” and dealers considering vacationing in Aruba due to 1955-S coin gains.

Naturally, getting rich off the 1955-S cent and dime was unlikely, but finding a 1955 cent with a doubled-die obverse improved things. Some 1955 doubled-die obverse pennies were magnificent, thus someone may have gone to Aruba. Again, 1955 was one of those years every few decades when almost every coin was good.

The 1955-S dime was notable, but the 1955 and 1955-D dimes had even lower mintages (12,828,381 and 13,959,000). Since 1955's three dimes were among the lowest-mintage Roosevelt dimes, alternative holders made sense. The 1955 Franklin half dollar (2,876,381) and 1955-D Washington quarter (3,182,400) had low mintages. Due to these coin totals of about 3 million, the 1955 Jefferson nickel's 8,266,200 mintage was likely overlooked.

Moreover, that mintage was not as fascinating as it seems today. Finally, the 1951-S nickel was 7,776,000 and the 1950-D 2,630,030. However, data reveal that the 1955 nickel had the lowest circulation since 1955 by almost 10 million pieces.

Despite its tiny mintage, the 1955 Jefferson nickel was not widely discussed and has not been found. In 1998, MS65 examples cost about $1.25. An uncirculated roll cost $7.50, but in a soft nickel market, no one cared. Due to slabbing higher MS grades, the 1955 has increased in price. The gains may have trumped some must-have equities, like an MS65 at $25. Uncirculated rolls cost $19.

Despite these increases, the 1955 Jefferson cent remains affordable. Uncirculated rolls cost 47.5 cents each coin. One MS65 with five steps costs over $100. Where's the risk if you can get a lovely roll of original coins? Rolls are perhaps too cheap, but MS65 prices are also questionable. Jefferson nickels might not be hot. Design changes may not have made a difference yet.

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