Since 1980, the Jefferson nickel has carried a mint mark. The mark is on the obverse, to the right of Jefferson's shoulder, below the year. The Red Book, a coin collecting reference book, shows no nickels in the 80s or 90s without a mint mark.Continue Reading
Mint marks identify the location of minting for a coin, and allow central control of the production and distribution. Jefferson nickels have been produced by three mints in the United States: Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco. The Jefferson series of nickels is a good one to collect by year and mint mark, according to NumisMaster.com, because the mint marks have moved, changed size and increased in number.
From early on, the Philadelphia Mint was the largest producer of coins, and through much of its history did not use a mint mark. Except for a brief period from 1965-1967, when no mint marks were allowed, Denver nickels have shown a "D" and San Francisco used an "S." Prior to 1965, mint marks could be found on the reverse, to the left of the Jefferson Memorial. From 1968 on, the marks moved to the obverse. In 1980, the mark was made smaller and Philadelphia began denoting its coins with "P." The U.S. Mint has tried to make the mint mark as inconspicuous as possible while remaining functional.Learn more about Coins & Currency