Question About War Nickel Grading

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Publius2, Mar 15, 2022.

  1. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    I've been looking to upgrade the raw war nickel in my type set with a super nice MS-67 or PF-67 in PCGS or NGC. The current example is shown below. It was so cheap at the LCS that it was basically free.

    In looking at candidates at coin shows and auctions, I think I am seeing a slight difference in grading standards between war nickels and the standard Jeffersons, with the war nickels getting a bit more lenience.

    Many, maybe most, of the 67 grade war nickels I've looked at I would not call a 67 but again I'm no expert in this series.

    PCGS Photograde doesn't show any difference because they only publish one set of standards for all but then I wouldn't expect to see anything documented for obvious reasons.

    So, what do the Jefferson experts think? Is there a small leniency given war nickels? Maybe due to the copper/silver alloy being slightly softer than the copper/nickel standard alloy?

    Since no post is worth reading without a photo, here's the one currently residing in the type set.

    DSC_0522.jpg DSC_0523.jpg
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  3. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The one in your type set is an MS-64 at best. It's got spots and marks.

    You should be able to get a really pretty one, but color could be a problem. When these coins were first minted, they were bright white, which reflected the silver that was in them. Out in circulation, they soon turned brown.

    I like the bright white ones with no spots. They are sill out there. There was a dealer at the Lakeland show who had a number of them, all raw. The trouble is these coins are not worth the grading fee, so if you have to have them slabbed, it's a "consumption act" (a money losing transaction) as my old economics teacher used to say.

    Here's a set a bought a few months ago. I have upgraded a couple of them.

    War Nickel Set O.jpg War Nickel Set R.jpg
  4. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    That is a nice coin. It can be upgraded easily because of the spots. You are correct. In my experience War Nickels are given more leeway - possibly because of their booming original luster. Additionally, they are not worth a fortune. I think this all started a very long time ago because to my eyes, PCGS went wild with their War Nickel grading.
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  5. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    I saw a number of MS and PF 67s at Lakeland but they all had problems. I didn't look at any raw coins, though.

    BTW, nice seeing you there.
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