When Is a Nickel Worth More Than a Nickel?

When is a nickel worth more than a nickel? Right now, in fact, the nickel is one of only two pieces of American currency even remotely worth the paper or metal they are stamped on. The other is the penny, but only pennies minted in 1982 and before. The website Coinflation tracks the bullion value of present and past United States coins, and on this day the 75% copper 25% nickel composition of the 1946-2013 nickel is worth 5.355 cents. The price of nickel rose nearly a quarter per pound today to $8.28 a pound while copper rose a nickel to $3.71 a pound. So, what does this mean?

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I haven’t a clue what it means to you. What it means to me is I can walk into a bank and leave with more money than when I came in. Or at least I can walk into a bank and give them paper currency and leave with a metal bullion worth more than the federal reserve notes I purchased it with or the fave value of the coin itself. I’m not sure how long pre 1982 pennies and nickels will remain readily available, but I know Canada has halted production of their nickels. This will be the last year they make them. Lots of coin collectors are already noticing many coins disappearing from circulation

I suppose if you’re a billionaire it would seem ridiculous to even care about something with such a small possibility of return, but I think collecting copper and nickel coins is a very small step people who don’t have a great deal of extra wealth to invest can accumulate something with value. It’s possible to foresee a time when the melt ban is lifted on nickels and pennies the same way it was with silver in 1964 and for a sharp increase in the value of those coins. Sure, it feels a  little goofy asking the cashier at the bank to open the change drawer and give you a few rolls of nickels, but if you do it a little bit at a time you can accumulate a nice stash slowly and steadily. And at the very worst what you have is a coin worth exactly what you paid for it. 

 

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