» 1976 Nickel Error List & Value

1976 Nickel Error List & Value

Despite being an iconic part of US currency history, the 1976 nickel features some intriguing design changes that make the nickel stand out from other years’ nickel releases.

In this article, we’ll read about the coin’s history, the remarkable design changes, and the value of nickel varieties minted in 1976. We’ll also be exploring the reported errors found in the 1976 nickel and try answering every relevant question that might pop up.

1976 Nickel Value Chart

Mint Mark Uncirculated Proof Fine Extremely Fine Good
1976 no mint mark nickel value $0.4 to $3.4 N/A
1976 D nickel value $0.4 to $3.38 N/A
1976 S nickel value $2.9


1976 Nickel No Mint Mark Value

1976 Nickel No Mint Mark Value
Image Credit: usacoinbook

With a face value of $0.05, the Philadelphia Mint produced precisely 376,124,000 nickels in 1976. These coins sell for their face value even when in extremely fine condition. However, uncirculated and proof coins can sell for a few dollars. Still, these nickels are quite common and bought to add to a coin collection.

The coin is from the famous Jefferson Nickel series and has the portrait of Thomas Jefferson on one face and the Monticello Building illustration on the other face. While the nickels minted in 1976 have a low value, these coins were minted as the year 1976 marked 200 years of peace and prosperity for the United States.

The obverse side of the coin has a portrait of Thomas Jefferson, designed by Felix Schlag. The portrait faces the left and has very subtle facial features and hair details. On the left side, the phrase In God We Trust is written, and on the coin’s right rim, the word Liberty and the date are struck, separated by a dot. While there is no mint mark on the nickels in Philadelphia, the Denver and San Francisco minted 1976 nickels carry their respective mint marks right after the date.

The reverse side illustrates the Monticello building, which can be appreciated when the nickel is in excellent condition. Above the coin rim, you’ll see the phrase E Pluribus Unum, whereas, along the bottom rim, you’ll spot the phrase United States of America written in capital letters. Right below the building’s illustration, there is the name Monticello, and the denomination is struck in a curve below the building’s name.

The nickel has a fascinating history, starting from 1866 when the nickel was first announced as a U.S. currency denomination. However, at the time, the nickel was called the five-cent piece. The nickel images changed over time, starting from the shield nickel, then the Liberty head, the Buffalo nickel, and the last significant design change was the Jefferson nickel.

The first ever Jefferson nickels were minted in 1938 with Jefferson on the heads and the Monticello building on the tails side. These first nickels commemorated the 200th birthday of the late President. The German artist Alex Schlag won a thousand dollars for the design. While most coin designers added their initials to the coin design,

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Schlag didn’t add his initials to the design until 1966.  His design was used until 1976. Before the coining of Schlag’s design, the mint authorities required some changes. In the original submission, the reverse side showed the Monticello building and a tree. The authorities didn’t like the fonts and the tree shown near the building. It is reported that the mint officials believed it to be a palm tree and argued that Jefferson could not have grown a plant tree.

In late May, a formal request was sent to the artist highlighting the required changes. The design revision was further delayed as the artist was busy with other projects. The revisions were made in mid-June. After a few changes, the design was finally ready for minting.

The production of the nickels was carried on for years until World War 2 broke out. During the war, the authorities decided to change the metal composition of the coin. This was done to save precious metals like nickel, which could be used in the war.

A composition of 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese was used to strike the coins starting in October 1942. These wartime nickels had a more significant mint mark placed right above the Monticello building. Over the years, these nickels have seen massive changes and are still minted to date.

1976 D Nickel Value

1976 D Nickel Value

The nickels with the D mint mark were minted in the Denver mint. Around 563,964,147 nickels were minted that year and sold for more than their face value. The coins ranging from good condition to extremely fine, sell for their face value, whereas the uncirculated coins in mint condition can sell for up to $4 or more.

1976 S Nickel Value

1976 S Nickel Value

The nickels minted in San Francisco are considered the rarest coins in the series, as these coins were minted in proof condition. The proof coins are minted for collectors and memorabilia but not for circulation. These nickels are minted while maintaining a high level of detail. These coins start selling from $2.9 and higher for pieces that are graded higher.

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1976 Nickel Grading

The coin’s value is determined by its condition. The most common grading system used is the Sheldon scale which ranges from one to seventy. While most 1976 nickels are lower grades, the higher-graded pieces have the most value. Here’s a video explaining the criteria commonly used for the Jefferson Nickel.

Rare 1976 Nickel Error Lists

Some errors can be found in the 1976 nickels, making them unique from normal coins. The value of these error coins also varies, depending on the error type and the coin’s condition. Without further ado, here are a few reported errors.

1976 Nickel Full Steps Error

1976 Nickel Full Steps
Image Credit: greysheet

Although it’s not an error, these nickels have far greater details preserved to date than other varieties. While it’s difficult to appreciate the steps leading to the building and relevant details in other varieties, the full steps variety has all these details visible. These are well-struck and preserved coins that can be found without a mint mark or a D mint mark. The coins sell starting from $220 and can go high as $4000 for specimens in pristine condition.

1976 Nickel Double Strike Error

1976 Nickel Double Strike Error

Typically, the coin is struck once to create an impression on the blank surface. However, if the coin is struck the second time at a slightly different angle, it can produce two distinct outlines. The double strike can sometimes produce coins with the 8 figure and are worth $30 to $80. The eighth figure forms when the sixth in the year 1976 is struck at different angles, changing the appearance of the number. These double strikes are evident on the lettering, edges, and on the illustration on the coin surface.

1976 Nickel Curved Clip Error

1976 Nickel Curved Clip Error
Image Credit: coins.ha

The curved clip error on the 1976 nickel is an interesting one. This error occurs when a part of the planchet gets deformed or breaks off. Due to this breakage, a deformed or incomplete image forms. In other words, a curved clip forms when the metal clip advances into the coin-punching section at a slower pace, resulting in a deformed or punched surface at the coin’s edge. You’ll see an evident groove at one or both corners of the coin. These coins are sold for a few hundred dollars.

1976 Nickel Broadstrike Error

In the broad strike error, the coins’ edges become raised while the lettering blurs around the coin rim. Sometimes the sides can also get squashed and stretched due to the uneven pressure. In a broad strike error, the coin s struck when not fastened in the coin collar, resulting in the coin expanding beyond the defined diameter of the collar die. This expansion of the coin surface can be uneven, depending on where the coin is struck and how it’s placed.

1976 Nickel Off-Center Error

1976 Nickel Off-Center Error

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The coin’s impression is laid on the planchet using a hammer die. The angle at which the die strikes is crucial. This error occurs when the hammer dies and strikes the blank metal sheets at the wrong angle, it forms an off-center image. While the off-center percentage increases the coin’s value, the coins with a 75% off-center image are valued at $60.

1976 Nickel on a Ten-Cent Planchet Error

The 1976 coins were minted on the five-cent planchet. However, this error occurred when the ten-cent planchet was used to mint these nickels. These nickels were minted on the wrong planchet and had different dimensions than the regular coins. The nickels with this error are sold for $500 and upwards.

1976 Nickel on a Five-Cent Planchet Error

Instead of minting the coins on a nickel planchet, these coins were also minted on a smaller, five-cent blank metal sheet. The composition of these coins is also copper instead of nickel. Due to a smaller planchet, these coins have a smaller size and look different in appearance to regular nickels. This error sells at an average price of $230.

1976 Nickel Die Cap Error

In this error, the coin is striking but fails to get out of the coin ejector, which causes the already-struck coin to receive unwanted strikes. These additional strikes make the coin thin and eventually slip out of the collar die. The coin forms a cup or a cud shape which can stick to the die, creating a die cap error.

As the stuck coin with the die continues to strike other coins, the coin attached to the die takes the form of a bottle cap. However, these die cap error coins can also get deformed or take another shape. These coins are valued differently, depending on the shape formed due to the error.

1976 Nickel FAQ

How to know if my 1976 nickel is valuable

While circulated varieties of the 1976 nickel are not more than their face value, coins well-preserved and higher-graded nickels are worth a lot more. Coins will have a higher value when any high-grade coin has an error. It might be difficult to agree on the price of the coin unless a known coin grading service grades it.

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How to clean the 1976 nickel

Cleaning old coins and using abrasive substances can sometimes damage coins instead of cleaning them. Coin-grading services can also clean the coin when necessary and remove any unwanted depositions to reveal the actual coin surface.

What’s the value of the 1976 no mint mark nickel?

Most of the earlier grades sell for their face value while the coins in circulated condition without a mint mark sell for $0.4 to $4. However, if the coins are graded higher than MS-65, they can sell for more than four dollars.

What are the top rare nickels?

Are the coins minted in 1976 silver?

While most of the coins were minted from a mix of copper and nickel, a particular Eisenhower silver dollar coin was minted with 40% silver. This coin was specially made for collectors, and the mint directly sold them at the time.

Why is the 2009 nickel rare?

The nickel of 2009 is considered rare because the U.S. Mint then decided to stop the coin minting temporarily. This was done as the demand for nickel was decreasing, primarily due to the coin’s low value. The sudden discontinuation of the 2009 nickel in April caused a decrease in the total coinage, making the coin a rare find.

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