January 22, 2022

Henning Jefferson nickels explained – and why they’re worth up to $404

[The Sun]

THE Henning quarter is arguably one of the most fascinating coins in American history – but some are wondering if they should add it to their collection.

Often times with coins, they will gain their rarity off a low mintage, an error, or another unique element.

This nickel contains a crack on the letter in the lower part of the 'R' in the word 'PLURIBUS'
This nickel contains a crack on the letter in the lower part of the ‘R’ in the word ‘PLURIBUS’

Some rare coins in existence include the 1932 Washington Quarter, the 1955 Lincoln double die penny, and the 1860 Liberty S quarter.

Also, keep in mind that the value of a particular coin could depend on grade and condition.

But the Henning Jefferson nickel isn’t like the rest of the rare coins in circulation. 

We explain why below.

What is the Henning nickel?

The nickel gets its name from Francis LeRoy Henning, who was a native of Erial, New Jersey.

Specifically, Mr Henning was a counterfeiter who started off by printing fake $5 banknotes.

Unfortunately for Mr Henning, he was caught by authorities and sentenced to three years in prison.

But little did they know that Mr Henning would plot his next scheme of a Jefferson nickel when he was released from prison in 1939.

Various experts believe that Mr Henning made 500,000 counterfeit nickels – with the dates engraved said to be 1939, 1944, 1946, 1947, and 1953. 

“Around 100,000 made it to circulation,” Chad Eicher, owner of Metal Pursuits, told The Sun. 

“The exact mintage numbers are unknown.”

The 1944 Henning Jefferson nickel is the most common counterfeit coin in the series, according to Mr Eicher.

How much are they worth? 

Determining the value of the Henning nickel can be tricky.

Because they were counterfeit, you won’t be able to find any price information on USA Coin Book or Professional Coin Grading Service.

But Mr Eicher said the Henning Jefferson nickels are worth between $20 and $90 depending on the condition.

These are almost always found in grades ranging from “good” to “fine.” Advertisement

Meanwhile, one Henning Jefferson nickel dated 1939 recently sold for $404 on eBay.

This coin contains a crack on the letter in the lower part of the letter “R” in the word “PLURIBUS.”

However, no other 1939 Henning nickels have recently sold recently on eBay, so it’s difficult to determine a general value.

On the other hand, a few Henning nickels from 1944 recently sold online with multiple bids. Advertisement

These sold for $82.56, $97, and $104 respectively. 

And while it might sound ironic, Mr Eicher noted that there are “many fakes” of the counterfeit nickel.

Given the lack of these coins that are selling online and the fakes, buying these coins might be risky. 

Also, keep in mind that it’s illegal to own any counterfeit currency.

How to find rare coins

There are many ways you can find rare coins, which of course won’t apply to counterfeit pieces.

The first thing you’ll want to do is check places in your home or any places you might store change.

Some other things you can try are using a metal detector in known areas for buried treasure and by stopping by your local bank branch and asking for a wrapper of pennies.

You can also try to get a good deal on one online through USA Coin Book or eBay.

But make sure you research the coin first and know what it’s worth before buying.

And also – be aware of potential fakes online.

To avoid this, it’s worth checking the seller’s history and whether or not the coin was certified in the listing.

Most importantly, your nickels aren’t the only thing that might hold value, as quarters dimes, half dollars, and Lincoln pennies are selling for a ton of cash online

By Anthony Russo

Leave a Reply