I have a large number of rolls of 35% silver WWII nickels. Can you refine them into a 100 oz silver bar for me?  From Tim in Schuerch, Arkansas.

Hi Tim,

We can buy your nickels but we cannot refine them into a silver bar and send the bar back to you. We pay for 40% of their silver value by weight for “war” nickels.

Silver “war” nickels were produced by the United States from mid-1942 through 1945 and are in fact 35% silver and of course worth more than their currency value of .05 cents. The government used silver instead of nickel because nickel was in higher demanded for manufacturing military supplies. Today, nickels are made of about 75% copper and 25% nickel.

Knowing if your nickels are “war” nickels is to your advantage because they are worth more refined than spent in a vending machine. However, when the price of silver rose in the 1960s many of these valuable nickels disappeared, but every once in a while you can find one in your change. Here are a few ways you can tell the difference between “war” nickels and the others.

  • Usually war nickels are a little darker in color than others.
  • On the backside of war nickels there is a P, D, or S marked above the building (Monticello’s dome) and under E Pluribus Unum. (On nickels distributed today this marking is on the face side under the year.)

Visit our website for more information about where to sell silver coins.