Why Should I Hoard Nickels? Is It Worth It?

Money used to be valued in the actual worth of the item. Bronze, copper, etc.. Nowadays, money has changed to be backed by different things, but still retains some type of material or prized substance to “prove” its worth. With that being said, do the nickels we get as change, are they really worth anything? Does anyone even keep their spare change around their house anymore? The answer is yes, as there’s recently been an upcoming trend for everyone to save all of their nickels. It might seem like a weird thing to do but there are more and more people doing it every day.

It may not seem like much but nickels still have value. Many people don’t want to keep them because it’s just a measly five cents to them. Nickels can be turned into copper, newer nickel, or even traded to collectors.

What’s A Nickel Made Out Of?

There are two types of nickel that are in circulation. There’s the silver nickel which is rare and the regular nickel that everyone uses. The regular ones are made from 25% copper and 75% nickel. They’re five grams in weight and are composited into cupro-nickel. Cupro-nickel doesn’t have a copper core on the inside if you somehow cut into them. While other coins use nickel, zinc, and copper, nickel doesn’t use zinc.


Copper is actually a really valuable element that a lot of people take for granted. Every coin invented in the 5th and 6th century BCE contains trace amounts of copper.

It’s used to conduct electric and thermal energy and is inside of a lot of items that people use. In 2010 the value of copper was $4.50 for a pound and is around $2.82 per pound today.


Nickel is in the top five most commonly used elements for mankind Asteroids and even the crust of Earth is abundant in nickel. The reason it’s so popular is that it’s fully recyclable, electroplating capable, corrosion-resistant, highly ductile, magnetic, alloy ready, and has a high melting point.

Cupro-nickel is an alloy that comes from nickel. The reason it’s used to make coins is that it’s not hard to get and is incredibly useful.

Rare Nickels

The rare version of nickel is called silver nickel. The US-made Wartime Nickels with this element from 1942 to 1945 and gave it a higher value than a regular nickel.

Buffalo nickels are twice the value of a regular nickel and are only one of the things coin collectors look out for. There are other uncommon and misprinted nickels in circulation that are worth five to twenty dollars each.

Coins that aren’t in circulation or are extremely fine tend to have more worth. If you manage to find a buffalo nickel that isn’t in circulation and is in perfect condition, then you can get upwards of thirty dollars for it.

Most Valuable Nickels

The Spruce Crafts has made a list of the most expensive nickels that are out right now. If you manage to get your hands on one of them then you can easily sell it for over a hundred dollars. The top ten most expensive nickels are:

1913 The Olsen Specimen Liberty Nickel – $3,737,500
1918 7-D The Doubled Die Obverse Buffalo Nickel – $350,750
1926 S Buffalo Nickel – $322,00
1916 – Buffalo Nickel – $281,750
1913 Type 2 D Buffalo Nickel – $143,750
1917 S Buffalo Nickel – $138,000
1920 D Buffalo Nickel – $138,00
1867 Proof with Rays Shield Nickel – $132,250
1918 S Buffalo Nickel – $125,350
1927 S Buffalo Nickel – $125,350

The chances that you find one of these rare coins are really slim but it doesn’t deter people from looking for them. The cost of these coins makes people who don’t even collect coins double check to see if they have any.

Melt Value And Face Value

Ever since 1865, the face value of the nickel is five cents. Other coins like the half dime were made in the past but none of them held their value like the nickel. If the value of the dollar were to ever change, the nickel would be one-twentieth of whatever value the dollar is.

The melt value of a coin is how much you would get if you melted the coin and sold the copper or nickel. This process is hard and takes a lot of time but could be lucrative because the price of copper can go up to $10 a pound. It takes around four pounds of nickel coins to make one pound of copper. The remaining three pounds is the nickel that you can also sell.

Melting Coins

Melting a coin doesn’t come across many people’s minds. If you ever decide to melt coins, make sure you manage the cost of the materials to see if you’ll make a profit. It’s not illegal to melt your coins in the United States as long as you don’t use the material to make counterfeit coins. The Legal Information Institute states in the US Code 18, Section 331, states that if anyone in the United States is caught making fake coins then the timely punishment is five years in prison. This isn’t something that you should take lightly and you need to be careful to not do it.

Is Melting Nickel Worth It?

If you have tons of nickels at your disposal and the tools to do it, melting nickel is a great way to make money. You need to keep in mind that if the value of copper and nickel drop low enough then you won’t be able to earn anything. Not only that but if you burn one of those rare coins, it won’t be hundreds of dollars anymore.

Final Thoughts

There are tons of other items that you can hoard if you’re trying to make money. If you’re a coin collector or have a lot of time on your hands, then you can make a decent amount of money for hoarding your nickels. This is especially true if you happen to run into one of the rare coins worth thousands of dollars. Everyone is different and you have to decide for yourself if it’s worth it to keep hundreds of nickels.

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