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The 1939-P Jefferson (Type 1) Reverse of 1938 in MS67

James G. Berline


The Philadelphia mint generated a whopping 120 million nickels in 1939 but only about 10% of them were with the reverse of 1938.

The 1939-P Jefferson had such a huge mintage where it clearly reflects that both the obverse and reverse master hubs were revised from the 1938 coinage,the obverse at the beginning of 1939 and the reverse a little later.Searching for 1939-P Rev of 38 nickels are relatively scarce across allgrades,heavily worn

pieces are mostly indistinguishable as to their reverse subtype, full steps are extremely rare.


Jaime Hernandez:

In 1939, the Mint struck 1939 Jefferson nickels with two different reverse designs.The first design isreferred to as a Reverse of 1938. The second design is referred to as a Rev

of 1940.

The transition took place due to minor flaws on the reverse design. The original design had weak and curved step details

on the Monticello building located on the reverse design of

the coin.

The easiestplace to notice the curving on the steps is on the center below the last step on the Monticello, where it curves significantly compared to the new design.

Therefore, on the new design or the 1939 Reverse of 1940 the design displays sharper details and straighter set steps on the Monticello building on the reverse of the coin.

The 1939 Jefferson nickel with a Reverse of 1938 must have

been produced for a very short period of time, since it is scarcer of the two different reverse varieties. It is important to consider that distribution of which reverses were used by each mint vary greatly.Philadelphia mint generated a whopping 120 million nickels in 1939 where only about 10% were with the reverse of 1938.


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