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1968 Jefferson Nickel

1968 Jefferson Nickel
Denver San Francisco Proof
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0.02 oz
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With the coin shortage officially declared over, mintmarks once again appeared on United States coins, though all were henceforth placed on each coin's obverse.

So many nickels had been coined 1964-67 that production for 1968 was relatively low from both the Denver and San Francisco Mints. This issue is plentiful in gem condition, though coins having either 5FS or 6FS are very rare. Despite retouching of the reverse master hub which sharpened some features of Monticello, the troublesome steps were little affected. This feature would remain incomplete on most coins until entirely new hubs were created in 1971.

Minor DDO varieties are known for 1968 D nickels, as well as a few decent RPM varieties that have as yet failed to catch on with collectors.

The San Francisco Mint actually out-produced Denver in nickels this year, an unusual situation indeed. This issue was widely hoarded, due to the novelty of both an obverse mintmark and the return of the letter 'S' to coinage. Gems are thus common, yet coins having either 5FS or 6FS remain quite rare.

Doubled-dies seem to have been confined to San Francisco's proof nickels, while the currency strikes do feature at least one worthwhile RPM variety that has not been well publicized.

The San Francisco Assay Office had been striking pseudo-proof SMS coins for the past two years when mintmarks were restored in 1968. The only evident difference between the 1968 S proofs and the 1967 SMS coins is that the proof dies were often over-polished. This produced the desired brilliance, but it likewise diminished many of the shallower details of the design.

Collectors of the time didn't seem to care, and they ordered the maximum number of sets the Mint would produce, with many checks being returned to frustrated buyers.


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