NGC PF Complete 1996





Coin Details

Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Item Description: 5C 1996 S
Owner: bishopjd

Set Details

Custom Sets: This coin is not in any custom sets.
Competitive Sets: NGC PF Jefferson Nickels 1938 - Current   Score: 89
NGC PF Jefferson Nickels 1950 - Current   Score: 89
NGC PF Jefferson Nickels 1965 - Current   Score: 89
NGC PF Complete 1996   Score: 89
Research: NGC Coin Explorer NGC Coin Price Guide

Owner Comments:

The Jefferson nickel has been in circulation since before World War II. In 1938, the United States Treasury elected to stop minting the Buffalo nickel. The Buffalo nickel (also known as the Indian Head nickel) had just completed its mandatory twenty-five year circulation, and since the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was a Jefferson admirer, the U.S. mint announced a contest to design a coin in honor of the third President. The winning entry would receive a $1,000 prize. Normally, the Chief Sculptor-Engraver of the mint created American coins, but for the Jefferson five-cent piece, the general public was invited to submit designs and 390 contestants did so.

The winning artist, Felix Schlag, was a German immigrant who had been a citizen for only nine years. He spent four weeks on his version of the coin. In the letter that notified him of his success, Schlag, based on a Gilbert Stuart portrait he had encountered in an art book. On the reverse, he depicted Monticello. His version of the mansion underwent drastic revision before minting, but once released in 1938, Schlag's design has remained virtually unchanged for 66 years.

Though the images on the coin have undergone little change, there have been some variations in the metal content of the nickel. For most of its history, the Jefferson nickel has contained an alloy of 75% copper and 25% nickel. From 1942-1946, however, the war-time version of the coin circulated. Its metal content was 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese. This diverted the nickel normally used in currency to military uses.
The striking of the 1938 Jefferson coin was not his first depiction on the country's currency. In 1869, his likeness had appeared on the two-dollar bill.

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