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All othernickels minted from the coin's introduction in 1866 to the presentare made of the same alloy, a 75% copper / 25% nickel blend.

Today the price of silver is more than 10 times what it was in the 1940s, so "war nickels" are worth at least a dollar or so for their metal content. ) ing WW2, so toreduce its use in coinage the composition of the 5-cent piece waschanged in mid-1942 from to an alloy of silver, copper, andmanganese.

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The letter "P" was used for Philadelphia issues for the first time on any coin.

A lot of people think that US nickels were once made from 90% silver like dimes and quarters were, but in fact nearly all nickels have been made of an alloy of 75% copper and 25% nickel.

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When new, the coins looked very similar to their copper-nickelcousins, unlike the zinc-coated steel cents issued in 1943 thatwere often confused with dimes.

However after a small amount ofwear the silver and manganese components tarnished severely and thecoins turned an unpleasant dark gray. Also, the letter "P" was used for Philadelphia issues for the firsttime on any coin.Regardless of many Internet rumors, these "war nickels" are the ONLY US nickels that ever contained any silver.Nickel was a strategic metal so in late 1942 the composition of the 5-cent piece was changed to an alloy of 35% silver, 56% copper, and 9% manganese.That silver percentage is much lower than standard silver coins so technically there has never been a true "silver nickel".The only US nickels that contained any silver were made from late 1942 through 1945.

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