The Jefferson nickels are five-cent coins with Thomas Jefferson’s portrait on the obverse and his home on the reverse. The US Mint has minted these coins from 1938 to the present without significant changes in design.
Even though three mints were responsible for minting nickels from 1946 to 2003, 1957 was an exception. Only two mints produced these coins that year, but their mintage was high. Therefore, the 1957 nickel value is relatively moderate, even in the highest grades.
1957 Jefferson nickel value Chart
|Condition||1957 No Mint mark nickel||1957 D nickel|
*by USA Coin Book
The 1957 Jefferson Nickel History
The Jefferson nickel replaced the famous Indian Head (Buffalo) nickel in 1938. By 1937, the Administration decided it was time for a new coin with President Thomas Jefferson on the obverse.
After announcing the competition, 390 artists sent their works to get a prize of $1,000 and win the honor of creating such an important coin. Sculptor Felix Oscar Schlag won the competition after basing his design on the portrait made by Gilbert Stuart. He saw it in an art book.
However, officials required some changes, including the new lettering style and Monticello’s position on the coin reverse. After the required correction, the design stayed unchanged for over six decades.
There was one more thing that made this particular coin unique. It was the third piece in American coinage history to show a genuine person besides Lincoln and Washington.
1957 Jefferson nickel
|1957 No Mint mark nickel||Philadelphia||38,408,000|
|1957 proof nickel||Philadelphia||1,247,952|
|1957 D nickel||Denver||136,828,900|
The metal content of all minted nickels from the first day to the present included cupro-nickel clad except for so-called Wartime Nickels.
In mid-1942, the nickel shortage resulted in copper coins with some silver and manganese instead of valuable nickel. After 1945, the US Mint continued producing nickels with the original composition.
The 1957 Jefferson Nickel Features
Even though five-cent coins may seem worthless and uninteresting for collectors, 1957 Jefferson nickels can be highly collectible under certain conditions. They are 65 years old, so uncirculated pieces, particularly those with Full Steps, can bring you a premium.
The 1957 Jefferson nickel obverse
Like other Jefferson nickels, specimens minted in 1957 have a sizable Thomas Jefferson portrait on the obverse. Around the 3rd President’s head is an inscription IN GOD WE TRUST placed on the left side, while the LIBERTY and the DATE are on the right position, behind his back.
The 1957 Jefferson nickel reverse
The beautiful reverse shows the President’s home Monticello framed by E PLURIBUS UNUM and the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. You can also see the house name and the denomination between the centrally positioned image and the country name at the bottom.
Unlike coins minted in Philadelphia, those from the Denver mint have the mint mark struck on the right, next to the building.
1957 Jefferson nickel
|Face value||Five cents ($0.05)|
|Coin diameter||21.21 mm (0.83505 inches)|
|Compound||75% copper with 25% nickel|
|Coin thickness||1.95 mm (0.07678 inches)|
|Coin weight||5 g (0.17638 ounces)|
The 1957 Jefferson nickel other features
The round 1957 Jefferson nickel is a five-cent piece with a plain edge. It is made of a copper-nickel alloy and weighs 5 g (0.17638 ounces). The standard diameter is 21.21 mm (0.83505 inches), and you can expect your piece to be exactly 1.95 mm (0.07678 inches) thick.
Value Guides of the 1957 Jefferson Nickel
The entire nickel mintage in 1957 was 176,484,852, but the Denver mint struck almost 100,000,000 more coins than Philadelphia. Despite that gap between coin numbers, the first mint produced only pieces from regular strikes, while the main mint minted both proofs and regular coins.
1957 no mint mark nickel Value
The 1957 Jefferson nickels are beautiful coins with a high mintage. The Philadelphia mint produced about a fifth of the total number of regular pieces, 38,408,000.
These 65-year-old five-cent coins are worth only $0.07 to $0.15 when in a circulated state, but their price can be higher if you have a piece of mint quality. Such nickels are worth $0.20 to $45, depending on condition, while the first-class ones can reach at least $400 at auctions.
1957 Jefferson nickel value
|Condition||No Mint mark 1957 nickel||1957 D nickel|
|AU||$0.08 to $0.15||$0.07 to 0.09|
In some cases, collectors are prepared to pay even more for beautifully toned specimens with sharply struck relief. For instance, one 1957 Jefferson nickel with an MS 67+ grade came on $1,550 on eBay.
Coins with Full Steps (five or six visible steps in front of Monticello’s entrance) were even more expensive. One collector paid a high $4,313 for one in June 2006.
Proof 1957 Jefferson nickel Value
Philadelphia produced proof nickels in 1957, besides pieces from the regular strikes. All 1,247,952 coins were intended for collectors, and most are in excellent condition nowadays. Their price range is wide, and you can buy one for $0.25 to $120, depending on the quality.
1957 Jefferson nickel (proof) value
|Condition||1957 PR nickel||CAM 1957 PR nickel||DCAM 1957 PR nickel|
Nickels with CAM quality are more costly, and you need to set aside $60 to $720 for one such coin. Rare DCAM specimens are scarce nowadays, costing $2,250 to even $6,500 when in the highest grades.
One unique 1957 DCAM Jefferson nickel with a PR 68 rating is the most pricey in the set. One collector sold it for a fantastic $7,475 at Heritage Auctions in 2010.
1957 D nickel Value
The Denver mint released an impressive number of 136,828,900 nickels into circulation in 1957. As a result, these coins are abundant on the current market and typically cost $0.06 to 0.09 after spending some time in circulation.
Untouched, well-preserved pieces come in a wide price range and cost $0.10 to $180, depending on the appearance of details on the surface of the coin. Their price significantly varies for specimens with a standard look and rare ones with Full Steps grading.
So, one collector sold his specimen with an MS 67 rating for $460, while a lower-graded piece with Full Steps was paid $4,600 only a year later.
1957 Jefferson Nickel Errors and Variations
The significant and valuable 1957 Jefferson nickel errors are genuinely rare. However, some are unique for pieces struck this year, like quadruple die obverse (QDO) coins. Besides these rarities, you can find usual error coins in this set, like:
1957 Nickel Doubled Die
This kind of error occurs when a die hits the planchet two times, resulting in lettering or image doubling. You can see it on the obverse, reverse, or both, depending on the problem that occurs in the line.
Most collectors look for such coins, and some prefer collecting only them instead of pieces from regular strikes. As for nickels produced in 1957, there are no doubled die specimens with significant doubling.
It is impossible to find highly valuable coins in this set, but minor doublings on these nickels are worth $25 to $50, and you can notice them:
- Around Jefferson’s eye
- On the inscription MONTICELLO
- On denomination
1957 Nickel Die break
Since the US Mint’s daily mintage was thousands of 1957 nickels, die breaks were common. Once it broke, a crack left an unevenness on the coin surface each time the die hit the planchet.
These raised lines or bumps can be tiny, and such coins are worth only a few dollars. On the other hand, significant die cracks across President’s image can make your 1957 nickel valuable. You can count on at least $100 in this case.
Cuds are specific formations on the coin rim resulting from a sizable break. The 1957 Jefferson nickels with this imperfection often bring a premium of $75 to $150.
1957 Nickel Off-center
Off-center nickels may significantly vary in error percentage, and coin rarity and value depend on the mint mark visibility and blank crescent size.
Nickels with 1% to 3% off-center are common and typically worthless, while you can get $10 to $25 for those with 5% or 10% off-center. Scarce 1957 nickels with 50% off-center and recognizable date cost about $100.
1957 Nickel Re-punched mint mark
The 1957 nickels are coins minted in the period when punching the mint mark onto the working die was done by hand. In such circumstances, doubling or tripling mint marks because of the misaligned die was pretty ordinary.
Most of these errors are barely visible, bringing only $3 to $5. When the re-punching is significant, you should pay approximately $25 or $50 for such a piece.
1957 Nickel Full Steps
Jefferson nickels Full Steps are coins with five to six visible steps at the Monticello entrance. These fully struck coins are as the designer originally intended them to be.
Remember that nickels with Full Steps are only uncirculated pieces with at least an MS 60 grade. The rarest specimens are those produced in the 1950s and 1960s in Denver or San Francisco.
1957 Jefferson nickel (Full Steps) value
|Condition||1957 No Mint mark FS nickel||1957 D FS nickel|
You can consider your 1957 FS Jefferson nickel collectible, particularly those with an MS 67 rating. One such coin can be worth $1,600 to $2,500, depending on the mint where it had been produced.
FAQ about the 1957 Jefferson Nickel
What makes a 1957 Jefferson nickel scarce?
Only some 1957 error Jefferson nickels can be considered rare. However, this set is known as regular without particularly valuable pieces.
On the other hand, it can be challenging to find specimens with Full Steps in the highest grades. Since many collectors look for these coins rather than available pieces from the regular strikes, you can consider them scarce on the market.
Which 1957 Jefferson nickel is particularly valuable?
- 1957 PR 68 Jefferson nickel DCAM (paid $7,475 at Heritage Auctions in January 2010)
- 1957 D MS 66+ Jefferson nickel Full Steps (paid $4,600 at Heritage Auctions in June 2011)
- 1957 MS 66 Jefferson nickel Full Steps (paid $4,313 at Heritage Auctions in June 2006)
- 1957 PR 68 Jefferson nickel CAM (paid $2,990 at Heritage Auctions in February 2008)
- 1957 PR 69 Jefferson nickel (paid $2,450 on eBay in August 2019)
- 1957 MS 67+ Jefferson nickel (paid $1,550 on eBay in December 2022)
- 1957 PR 67 QDO Jefferson nickel (paid $566 on eBay in March 2012)
- 1957 D MS 67 Jefferson nickel (paid $460 at Heritage Auctions in September 2010)
What is the No Mint mark 1957 Jefferson nickel price?
Since the 1957 Jefferson nickels are modern coins with high mintage, you can expect pieces without the mint mark to be inexpensive. You can buy one for $0.07 to $0.15, while those in the mint state cost $0.20 to $400.
What are the most costly Jefferson nickels?
The most expensive nickels in a series are:
- 1954 S MS 67 Jefferson nickel Full Steps ($35,250)
- 1938 D MS 68+ Jefferson nickel Full Steps ($33,600)
- 1969 D MS 65 Jefferson nickel Full Steps ($33,600)
- 1949 D/S MS 67 Jefferson nickel ($32,900)
- 1964 SMS SP 68 Jefferson nickel Full Steps ($32,900)
- 1942 D/D D/Horizontal D MS 64 Jefferson nickel ($32,200)
- 1940 Reverse of 1938 PR 68 Jefferson nickel ($28,750)
- 1939 D Reverse of 1940 MS 68 Jefferson nickel Full Steps ($26,400)
Type 2 (silver alloy)
- 1945 D MS 68 Jefferson nickel Full Steps ($25,000)
- 1944 D MS 68 Jefferson nickel ($22,325)
- 1942 PR 67 Jefferson nickel ($14,100)