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1944 Jefferson nickel without mintmark

I have a 1944 Jefferson nickel without a mintmark. The Red Book states, “1944 nickels without mintmarks are counterfeits.” Why would someone go through the trouble of counterfeiting a nickel that otherwise lacks numismatic value? Is it possible this could be a mint error coin?

There are no known mint error 1944 nickels lacking a mintmark. No one is quite sure why he did it, but Francis LeRoy Henning of Erial, N.J., was responsible for your fake “Henning nickel.” Henning produced his own 1939, 1944, 1946, 1947 and 1953 nickels. There is a low spot or void at the “R” in “Pluribus” on most of his fakes. His coins weigh 5.4 grams while genuine nickels weigh 5.0 grams.

Along with some new nickels, I received an un-struck. Does this have any value?

Any coinage blank has modest collector value, but it is the severely off-center strike example that can still be identified and dated that has better value. In other words, the more graphic yet decipherable the off-center strike, the more desirable it becomes. The strike never took place on your coin.

Numismatic News prices the 1982-P half dollar without the “FG” initials on the reverse. Is this the only Kennedy half dollar with a variety lacking the designer initials?

There are several dates on which the initials appear to be weak; however, the dates usually accepted to have been struck without the initials are 1982-P, 1983-P and the 1966 half dollar in the Special Mint Sets. The 1966 variety is regarded to be the rarest of the three. Watch for the diagnostic excessive polishing on the bridge of the nose on this coin.

What varieties of the 1964 Kennedy half dollar should I be looking for?

The 1964 Accented Hair proof is popular, but you might want to look for the 1964-D doubled die, tripled die, or quadrupled die obverse business strikes and a 1964-D half dollar struck on a quarter planchet.

How can I tell if my Franklin half dollar has full bell lines?

Full bell lines on a Franklin half dollar is a strike characteristic. The coin may not be fully uncirculated and still have full bell lines, depending on the quality of the strike and the wear on the die from which it was produced. To qualify as a Full Bell Line half dollar, both horizontal bell lines must be distinct.

I understand that the provenance on an ancient coin may be important, but I see provenance at auctions identifying a U.S. coin to having previously been in someone’s collection. Does this make any price difference for what the coin may sell?

Some people view a U.S. coin documented to have come from a prominent collection as being superior to others of the same grade if the quality of the overall collection is regarded to have been discerning. The jury is out on if this makes a difference in prices consistently or not.