Kelly C. writes: I’m just curious, what are nickels made of? Is there any silver in them? Thanks.
U.S. nickels have the most consistent composition of all United States coins. From the Shield nickel’s inception in 1866 until the present, the nickel coin has been made from an alloy of .750 copper and .250 nickel. Only for a brief period of years (1942-45) was the nickel composition altered and this was for the emergency of WW II. The eleven war nickels from this period had all of the nickel replaced and some of the copper with an alloy of 56% copper, 35% silver and 9% manganese.
Interestingly, for the second time in U.S. history manganese was used in the manufacture of the new smaller sized dollar coins beginning with the Sacagawea coin in 2000, followed by the Presidential dollars in 2007 and the Native American series in 2009.