1943 P Jefferson war nickel with much more silver

Discussion in 'What's it Worth' started by egodoro, May 27, 2019.

  1. egodoro

    egodoro Member

    Recently, had my nickel’s metal content tested with a handheld X-ray fluorescent (XRF) analyzer.

    These nickels are supposed to be 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese. I had different results.

    The analyzer was calibrated and operated by someone trained to use it. Anyone know anything about this or have opinions on the discrepancy?

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  3. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    When and by whom was the instrument calibrated? Those numbers are too far off, even with the tolerances. There will be be silver migration towards the surfaces and edges, but that is way off
    Inspector43 likes this.
  4. egodoro

    egodoro Member

    The reading was recently taken by a family member. He’s employed by a major electrical switch manufacturer, and uses the XRF analyzers to test metal contents such as silver, copper, etc. that are used in the manufacturing process.
  5. egodoro

    egodoro Member

    Also, the coin was tested twice on two different days, with the same result.
  6. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    Send it to PCGS or NGC. I don't know what the tolerances are, or what premium someone would pay. If it was Cu-Ni it would be highly collectible.

    Fred Weinberg would be the man to ask.
  7. egodoro

    egodoro Member

    Appreciate the reply! Do you know how to contact him?
  8. Bambam8778

    Bambam8778 Well-Known Member

    That is very interesting! He's on here from time to time, if we tag him, @Fred Weinberg , maybe he'll chime in. Let us know how everything turns out!
    egodoro likes this.
  9. egodoro

    egodoro Member

    Thanks so much, and I most certainly will!
  10. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    I thought you had to mention his name three times...Fred Weinberg, Fred Weinberg, Fred Weinberg :) BTW, that XRF is going to give you a surface analysis including any crap that is on the surface.
    Stevearino, Numiser, egodoro and 3 others like this.
  11. desertgem

    desertgem Senior Errer Collecktor Supporter

    I suspect that the analytics done by the mint at that time are more accurate due to the value of silver. Depending on whether your relative is a skilled user of the device or a chemical analyst educated on how the results have to be processed when there are differing amounts of the elements as some elements ( especially higher levels of lead and copper can cause inaccurate readings over other ( including silver). There are several papers that discuss this that can be found using google or the chem paper depositories ( charge) or publications by the XRF manufacturers. Here is the easiest one I could find by searching " xrf confusion with silver and copper"

    Maybe if he contacted the XRF manufacturer and asked directly , they could help. Let us know as XRF machines are getting more available.

    Oldhoopster likes this.
  12. desertgem

    desertgem Senior Errer Collecktor Supporter

    I should have mentioned, if you took a few more random war nickles and they all gave the same reading , that problems with the XRF method was occurring, but if they other random ones were all 35% , that the original coin was off. Jim
    Stevearino likes this.
  13. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Sounds to me like the Silver and the Copper wires are switched.

    Welcome to CT.
    Mernskeeter, TheFinn and egodoro like this.
  14. egodoro

    egodoro Member


    I attributed the trace metals to any dirt or grime, too.
    Kentucky likes this.
  15. egodoro

    egodoro Member

    Unfortunately, this is my only war nickel or I would. That being said, he’s tested other coins for me and their compositions have always been accurate.
  16. egodoro

    egodoro Member

    Appreciate the feedback and wanted to provide more information on the XRF analyzer used.

    Here is a link to the XRF analyzer that performed the test: https://www.thermofisher.com/order/catalog/product/XL2PRECIOUS?SID=srch-hj-XL2PRECIOUS

    I’m told it’s very easy to use. Apparently, since it’s shaped sort of like a gun, you basically just point and shoot, and the analyzer has a screen with the composition.

    The electrical switches that my family member helps manufacture are used in transmission, distribution and substation applications with power and utility companies, as well as government agencies in the US and abroad. He useD the same XRF analyzer to test my coin that he’d use as part of quality control.
  17. egodoro

    egodoro Member

    Also, wanted to provide additional info on the coin’s weight. Normal is 5 grams, mine is 4.66 grams.
  18. egodoro

    egodoro Member

    That was my first question too, and was reassured that wasn’t the case.
  19. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    The odds are very high that the actual silver content is 35%.
    Did you test a number of other war nickels as a control, then
    if they all were 35% and this one was higher, OK. But I doubt it.
  20. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    You must understand they Mint more than 1 at a time. In 76 years nothing like you are claiming has ever been reported. It's impossible to have just 1.
  21. egodoro

    egodoro Member

    Look, I’m just stating the facts. Do with that what you will.
    Charlie Cliques likes this.
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