» 1963 Nickel Error List & Value

1963 Nickel Error List & Value

The 1963 nickel features one of America’s first presidents, but this Jefferson nickel has much more to offer than a dignified face. Between well-preserved coins and rare varieties, it’s easy to assign a premium to these coins.

While circulated 1963 nickels are only worth their face value, collectors will pay #0.11 to $1 or more to add a higher grade to their collection. Proof coins that were originally produced for collecting sell for as much as $28 on a regular basis.

This guide digs into the intricacies of the 1963 nickel value. Keep reading as we explore the different types of nickels from this year, how to speculate nickel grade, and what errors to look out for.

1963 Nickel Value Chart

Mint Mark Good Fine Extremely Fine Uncirculated Proof
1963 No Mint Mark Nickel Value $0.05 $0.18 $0.57 $1.00 /
1963 D Nickel Value $0.05 $0.11 $0.37 $1.00 /
1963 Proof Nickel Value / / / / $1.00 to $28+

1963 No Mint Mark Nickel Value

1963 No Mint Mark Nickel Value
Credit: usacoinbook

1963 no mint mark nickel was produced in Philadelphia, and a total of 175,784,000 were put into circulation. Most remain in circulation today, albeit in poor condition, but you still come across those of a suitable grade for collecting.

Philadelphia normally produces more coins than the other mints, but that isn’t the case for the 1963 no mint mark nickel. Because of this, coins without the mint mark are more valuable than the other variety.

1963 no mint mark nickel is easy to find to add to your collection, but you usually want to hold out for higher grades. While even “Fine” no mint mark nickels sell at a premium, it’s cheap enough to buy an “Extremely Fine” example for $0.57.

The “Uncirculated” 1963 nickels usually post at market for $1.00, but the best examples of the coins sell for much more at auction.

The current auction record is a NGC MS67FS 1963 nickel that sold for $3,600 in 2020. This particular coin shows all five steps on Monticello as well as a perfect retention of original mint luster on both sides.

1963 Nickel Features

The 1963 nickel was produced in the middle of the Jefferson Five Cents series, and it features designs from Felix Schlag on the front and back.

The obverse features a bust of Thomas Jefferson, founding father and third President of the United States. He looks to the left field of the coin where it reads IN GOD WE TRUST along the rim.

The other inscriptions date the coin to the right and mark LIBERTY across the top curve. Mint marks from this year sit just below the year.

Schlag’s reverse design features Jefferson’s Monticello mansion, and it labels the building MONTICELLO below. The reverse also houses the Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM along the top rim, identifies the FIVE CENTS denomination below the building, and marks the coin UNITED STATES OF AMERICA on the bottom rim.

Jefferson nickels are made of a cupronickel alloy, specifically 75 percent copper and 24 percent nickel, but they have a silver appearance. The coins are round with plain edges, and they measure 21.20 mm in diameter and 1.95 mm thick. All 1963 nickels weigh 5 grams.

A total of 455,681,105 nickels were minted at the Philadelphia and Denver mints in 1963.

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1963 D Nickel Value

1963 D Nickel Value

The Denver mint produced 276,829,460 nickels and accounted for more than half of the total nickels produced in 1963. Because of this, all grades are worth slightly less than 1963 nickels without a mint mark.

Like the Philadelphia nickels, coins at a low grade are only worth their face value or a small premium on it (usually around $0.11). Coins in “Extra Fine” condition are more desirable, and they’ll regularly sell for around $0.37.

An “Uncirculated” 1963 D nickel is worth about $1, but those with a verifiable high grade are bound to bring in more if they go for auction. PCGS lists the current auction record as a MS65FS 1963 D nickel that sold for $9,200 in 2008.

Only two nickels have achieved this grade with none finer. The coin that was sold has a light gold toning and a slightly reflective surface.

1963 Proof Nickel Value

1963 Proof Nickel Value
Credit: PCGS

The Philadelphia mint also produced 3,075,645 proof nickels in 1963. These coins have a higher baseline value, but they’re also easily found in higher grades and have a lower value ceiling than the circulated coins of similar value.

Proof coins are struck using a different minting process with the intent of creating high-quality, collectible coins. These coins use special dies designed to draw out every detail of the coin.

Furthermore, the dies were “pickled” and the highest surface of the die was then polished, creating the distinct mirrored effect you see on proof coins. The coins are then struck twice to ensure proper details, hand inspected for imperfections, and then packaged to be sold for collecting purposes (not circulation).

Beyond the normal 70 point grading, a proof coin may also have a CAM or DCAM designation to reflect the particular quality of the coin. These nickels are unlikely to have either due to difficulties in production, but they do exist.

A Cameo coin is particularly brilliant proof with light to moderate frosting of devices on both sides. A Deep Cameo requires deep, even frosting on the devices of both sides.

Normally, a 1963 proof nickel sells for about $0.25 to $3.00, but the highest graded DCAM coins are often appraised at $28 or higher.

When you take these coins to auction they’re bound to bring in a lot more. The current auction record for a 1963 proof nickel is a PCGS PR70 that sold for $978.

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1963 Nickel Grading

The 1963 nickel is not a particularly difficult coin to grade, but those with a rare specimen or anyone wanting serious offers needs professional grading.

Otherwise, you can assign  general grade to your coin solely for hobbying or estimation purposes.

Most 1963 nickels are in “Good” condition. They show obvious signs of circulation, and most details are simply silhouettes on the coin. When the coins are still well-worn with minute details, they jump up to a “Fine” grade.

“Extremely Fine” coins are where most collectors start to direct their attention. These still have some signs of wear, particularly on high relief areas, but all details and lines are fully intact.

“Uncirculated” 1963 nickels most closely resemble their original design. They usually have the same, similar shine they started with, and high areas are barely touched. A coin may have a high grade with or without Full Steps (explained below).

Full Steps Jefferson Nickel Grading

Full Steps Jefferson Nickel Grading
Credit: coinupdate

Beyond the original 70 point grading scale, a 1963 Jefferson nickel may receive a full steps (FS) grade that increases its value. This specifically refers to the number of countable steps at the entrance of Monticello.

Jefferson nickels have a rather weak strike on their reverse, and many coins lack the complete details of Felix Schlags design. Professionals use the FS grade to indicate a fully struck coin with 5 or 6 visible steps (rather than the 4 you see on average).

Full steps grades operate independent of the 70 point scale, although you need a higher original grade to get any premium value from them. They often sell for $60 or more depending on the coin’s other details.

For example, a FS 1963 no mint mark MS65 nickel may sell for $75, while a 1963 D FS nickel of the same grade would sell for $3,300. The full steps designation has a slight increase in value, but the grade and mint weigh in the most.

Rare 1963 Nickel Errors

The 1963 nickels involve many recognizable mint errors, including:

  • Double dies
  • Off center strikes
  • Incorrect planchets
  • Rotated dies
  • Incorrect annealing

While this isn’t an exhaustive list of all potential mint errors a 1963 nickel may have, there are multiple verified examples of these and a likeliness that more of these coins exist.

Keep in mind that, while coin errors add onto their original value, the error value weighs in far less than coin mintage or condition. Nickel errors should also be verified to ensure they are not the result of post-mint damage.

1963 Double Die Nickel

1963 Double Die Nickel
Credit: eBay

A double die 1963 nickel is one with a partial or full double image. When the dies are not properly impressed they cause this double image appearance from a single strike (as opposed to double struck coins that are hit twice with a proper die).

The double die error is actually what kicked off the idea of collecting error coins or assigning a premium to them. They’re only worth about $5 on top of the original 1963 coin value, but more dramatic doubling may tag on $90 or more.

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1963 Off Center Nickel

1963 Off Center Nickel
Credit: the-sun

An off center error occurs when the planchet is placed incorrectly on the coin, resulting in a certain degree of design loss. These coins need their date and mint mark apparent to receive the proper value.

As long as the identifying details are present, an off center nickel may have any degree of design loss. Instead, you see a blank crescent shape where the die did not strike the coin at all.

A 1963 nickel that was struck off center so slightly that it’s difficult to detect may only see a $3 increase in value, while those with a greater loss of detail can rake in as much as $250.

1963 Wrong Planchet Nickel

A coin struck on the wrong planchet was incorrectly fed into a planchet for another denomination (it can even happen with foreign coins). These coins retain their original composition, but they take on the size of the incorrect coin.

The most common planchet we see the 1963 nickel struck on is the cent, although dime planchets come in at second. These coins have gone for $320 at auction, but you may find them cheaper at auction.

1963 Nickel with Incorrect Annealing (Black Beauty Nickel)

1963 Nickel with Incorrect Annealing (Black Beauty Nickel)
Credit: coincommunity

The “Black Beauty” nickel has a dark appearance that ranges from a dark gray to jet black. While improper annealment may occur on any denomination, nickels are particularly susceptible.

The annealment process involves heating the planchet in preparation for striking. If overheated, the copper is improperly layered on the coin and causes the darker appearance of the coin.

Because it’s easy to confuse toning for an actual mint error, you should have these coins evaluated before assuming they’re worth the extra $100 to $150.

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1963 Rotated Die Nickel

A 1963 nickel with a rotated die appears just as it sounds.

Normally, if you orient a coin upright and then flip it on its x-axis (horizontal) the reverse is apparent in proper orientation. A nickel with a rotated die would be off to a certain degree, and larger deviations bring in a higher premium.

This occurs when the coin is improperly positioned during minting, and it can add $10 to $80 on the base value.

1963 Nickel FAQs

What Are the Errors on a 1963 Nickel?

The most common errors on a 1963 nickel include a double die, off center strike, incorrect planchet, rotated die, and incorrect annealation. The last error is more commonly known as a “Black Beauty” nickel caused by improper coin processing that leads to a dark appearance.

What Is the 1963 Nickel Made of?

The 1963 nickel is made of copper (75 percent) and nickel (25 percent). They are the only U.S. coin named due to its particular metal content (despite the nickel content being on the lower end).

Is a 1963 Nickel Real Silver?

No 1963 nickels contain silver. The only silver nickels in modern history, known as the “silver war nickels”, occurred during a 4 year span from 1942 to 1945, and they only contained 35 percent silver.

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