Mail Bag – What is The Most Affordable Coins I Can Collect?

Today’s Mail Bag question is one that I suspect many new and young collectors have asked. What coins can I collect that are affordable? It is a question I suspect most of us have asked at one time or another but for young collectors, this become particularly important. That’s exactly the question that Abby has asked in their email to me last week.


My name is Abby and I’m (age redacted as they are a minor). I just started collecting coins last year and most of my coins have come from my parents change. I want to get better coins but I don’t have a lot of money. What is the best coin for me to collect?



First Abby, thanks for taking time to write in and thanks to your mom for giving me permission to post this Mail Bag question. I think your question is a great one and I think I have a good answer for you.

Jefferson Nickels

Jefferson nickels are often overlooked for a few reasons. One, with the exception of the “war nickels” from 1942 to 1945, nickels have always been made of… nickel! (You can read about the silver War Nickels in this Coin History article). That fact has made them often overlooked by collectors. Secondly, we still carry the Jefferson nickel today, albeit an updated Obverse and Reverse. Fundamentally though, since its release in 1938, this coin has changed very little.

Add these together, along with generally high production figures, the Jefferson nickel is one of the most affordable coins to collect, especially with those early releases. They are also widely available from coin shops and dealers.

Let me give you a few examples.

Dave’s Collectable Coins (who I personally shop from and recommend) has a 3-coin 1955 Jefferson nickel set for $19.00. That comes with the uncirculated examples from Philadelphia and Denver as well as a proof from Philadelphia. Don’t want to spend that much? No problem! How about the same three coins from 1956 for just $6.10! Still too much? No problem! How about the same 3-coins set from 1964 for $2.14! You can pick up a 1938-D, the first year of release in uncirculated condition for just over $11 and one in Extra Fine condition for $3.99.

My point here Abby is that with 84 years of production – mass production in most years – the Jefferson is incredibly affordable and are very easy to collect. Many online coin dealers and coin shops have Jefferson’s in abundance and at really low prices. As always, do your homework and research prices so you don’t over pay!

Thanks Abby for your question. If you have a question for the Mail Bag, just head over to the About page and fill out the online form to submit it.

Editors Note: USCoinNews is not an affiliate or associated with Dave’s Collectable Coins.

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