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SERIES: Jefferson Five Cents 1938-1964
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1939 5C Reverse of 1938 (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS67+

REVERSE COMPARISON

PCGS MS67
PCGS #:
4003
Diameter:
21.20 millimeters
Designer:
Felix Schlag
Weight:
5.00 grams
Edge:
Plain
Mintage:
120,627,535
Metal Content:
75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Auction Record:
$1,208 • NGC MS68 • 11-21-2002 • Heritage Auctions
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 19,000,000 R-1.0 9 / 68 TIE 12 / 82 TIE
60 or Better 67,500 R-2.3 5 / 68 8 / 82
65 or Better 60,000 R-2.4 12 / 68 TIE 15 / 82 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
1 MS67 PCGS grade  
Jaime Hernandez: In 1939, the Mint struck 1939 Jefferson nickels with two different reverse designs. The first design is referred to as a "Reverse of 1938." The second design is referred to as, a "Reverse of 1940."

The transition took place due to minor flaws on the reverse design. The original design had weak and curved step details on the Monticello building located on the reverse design of the coin. The easiest place to notice the curving on the steps is on the center below the last step on the Monticello building, where it curves significantly once compared to the new design.

Therefore, on the new design or the "1939 Reverse of 1940" the design displays sharper details and a straighter set of steps on the Monticello building on the reverse of the coin.

The 1939 Jefferson nickel with a Reverse of 1938 must have been produced for a very short period of time, since it is the scarcer of the two different reverse varieties.