1988 Nickel Value Guide (‘’P‘’, “D”, ‘’S’’ and Error Coins)

Jenson Cambell

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Due to its high mintage number, the 1988 Nickel might typically be low in value. But there are special character strikes and errors that might raise the price of this particular coin. With this 1988 Nickel Value Guide, you’ll learn all there is to its price in the market!

1988 Jefferson Nickel Value Overview

Below is the latest estimated value for the 1988 Nickel.

Mint Location Mintage Coin Series Estimated Value
Philadelphia 771,360,000 1988 P 5C MS $0.10 to $70.00
1988 P 5C MS 6FS $20.00 to $170.00
1988 P 5C MS 5FS $10.00 to $130.00
1988 P 5C MS 6PL $175.00
Denver 663,771,652 1988 D 5C MS $0.10 to $150.00
1988 D 5C MS 6FS $25.00 to $270.00
1988 D 5C MS 5FS $12.50 to $335.00
1988 D 5C MS 6PL $350.00 to $625.00
San Francisco 3,262,948 1988 S 5C PF $0.30 to $12.50
1988 S 5C PF CA $0.35 to $15.00
1988 S 5C PF UC $0.50 to $350.00

With over a billion coins in circulation, it’s not a surprise that this coin has a lower base value. The lowest going for $0.10 to $0.30 for the circulated coins. That said, there are some character strikes that can offer more value.

What is a 1988 nickel made of?

The 1988 Nickel consists of a combination of cupronickel, which is 75% copper and 25% nickel. This coin has a low melt value of $0.0543 without any silver content, according to the USA Coin Book. So, it’s much better in value as it is rather for melting.

1988 Jefferson Nickel Details

  • Category: Jefferson Five Cents
  • Weight: 5g
  • Diameter: 21.2mm
  • Composition: Copper-Nickel
  • Obverse and Reverse Designer: Felix Schlag
  • Edge: Plain

1988 Jefferson nickel obverse feature

The 1988 Nickel belongs to the Jefferson Five Cents series. The obverse side of the 1988 Nickel features Thomas Jefferson’s bust. The left corner has the phrase “In God We Trust,” while to the right is “Liberty” and the year of production.

Along with that is a five-point star, which frames the mintage year. Below that is the mint mark.

One of the striking features of this year’s coins is the ‘P’ mintmark. Unlike many coins from the Philadelphia Mint, the 1988 Nickel has a ‘P’ engraving rather than a blank mint mark.

1988 nickel reverse feature.webp

While all factors contribute to its worth, the condition of the stairs on the reverse side is usually the primary determinant. The value of the 1988 Jefferson Nickel is directly influenced by the Monticello engraving, as this coin has a specialized Full-Step character strike.

You will see the word “Monticello” below the said engraving. With “E Pluribus Unum” above and the value and country below.

How Much is a 1988 Nickel?

This is the estimated value for the regular strike coin of this year based on the mint location, as determined by NGC.

1988 Nickel Regular Strike Value List
Grading 1988 P Nickel 1988 D Nickel
Good $0.10 $0.10
Fine $0.10 $0.10
Extremely Fine $0.10 $0.10
AU 50 $0.10 $0.10
AU 58 $0.15 $0.15
MS 60 $0.25 $0.25
MS 61 $0.50 $0.50
MS 62 $0.75 $0.75
MS 63 $1 $1
MS 64 $2.50 $2.50
MS 65 $10 $5
MS 66 $35 $15
MS 67 $70 $150.00

As you can see from the table, the ‘P’ and ‘D’ mint marks almost have the same estimated market price at $0.10 to $2.50. Due to their high mintage and the coins being regular strike, the Nickels from Denver and Philadelphia Mint have the same price up to MS-64 grade.

Most of their difference only comes at about MS-65 grade and higher. The ‘D’ coins almost doubled in price than the ‘P’ ones.

1988 P Nickel Value and Auction Record

1988 P Nickel Value
1988-P 5C FS (Regular Strike) Jefferson Nickel

Due to its highest mintage, the 1988 P Nickel provides an estimated price of $0.10 to $70.00. It’s a reasonably low price for a coin, even for the uncirculated grade.

This market price is because of a couple of factors. First, the high mintage for the year 1988. Not only will it make the coins very common, but the quality strike will also be a lot lower.

That said, there are some coins sold higher than the estimated price by the NGC. Take this particular MS-67 coin, for example. Despite having an estimated price of $70, it’s sold by the Heritage Auctions for $329.

Another is the MS-64 coin, also sold by Heritage Auction for $79. It’s more valuable than the $2.50 estimated price.

1988 D Nickel Value and Auction Record

1988 D Nickel Value
1988-D 5C, FS (Regular Strike) Jefferson Nickel

Based on current data from the NGC Price Guide, a 1988 Jefferson Nickel in average condition is valued at approximately $0.10 to $0.15. However, 1988 D Nickels in exceptional, uncirculated condition can sell for up to $150.

Of course, there are coins that will sell higher than the estimated price. For example, this 1988 D MS67 Nickel is sold for $164.50 by Heritage Auctions.

1988 Full-Step Nickel Value

The 5FS and 6FS designations are unique to Jefferson Nickels. NGC has been giving out these special strike characters for Mint State Jefferson Nickels since 2004. Prior to this, Jefferson Nickels was only classified as Full Step (FS). Now, those coins that have FS descriptions are moved to FS6, including the 1988 Full-Step Nickels.

1988 FS Nickel Value

These specific classifications are limited to Mint State coins only. Along with the prior two FS character strikes is the 6FS PL, which is short for 6 Full-Steps Proof-Like.

1988 P Jefferson Nickel Full Steps Price Guide
Grading 5FS 6FS 6FS PL
MS FS 64 $10 $20 /
MS FS 65 $25 $40 /
MS FS 66 $85 $150 $175
MS FS 67 $130 $170 /

With all of that said, the estimated price for the 1988 P Nickel FS is higher than the regular strike ones. A 1988 P 5FS Nickel has a price of $10 to $130. Meanwhile, the 1988 P 6FS Nickel has a higher price at $20 to $170.

The 1988 6FS PL has a sole estimated price of $175, which is the highest. This is due to its rarity, only having five coins graded according to the NGC Census.

1988 D Jefferson Nickel Full Steps Price Guide
Grading 5FS 6FS 6FS PL
MS FS 64 $12.50 $25 /
MS FS 65 $30 $40 /
MS FS 66 $110 $270 $350
MS FS 67 $335 / $625

The value of the Full Strike ‘D’ nickel is estimated to be higher than regular strike nickels, similar to the P series. Currently, the 5FS is priced between $12.50 and $335, while the 6FS ranges from $25.00 to $270.00. The 6FS PL has an estimated price of $350 to $625.

1988 S Nickel Proof Value and Auction Record

1988 S Nickel Proof Value
1988-S 5C, DCAM (Proof) Jefferson Nickel

The San Francisco Mint did not produce a regular strike nickel in 1988. However, this mint location produced a good amount of proof coins, totaling 3,262,948.

It’s important to note that Proof coins are expected to display a full number of steps. However, the price for the Proof and Cameo coins is not as high as other coins. This is due to a mix of factors, such as high-proof coin mintage and lower-quality strikes.

1988 S PF Nickel Value List
Grading Proof (PF) PF Cameo (CAM) Deep Cameo (DCAM)
MS PF 60 $0.30 $0.35 $0.50
MS PF 61 $0.40 $0.50 $0.75
MS PF 62 $0.65 $0.75 $1
MS PF 63 $0.90 $1 $1.50
MS PF 64 $1.25 $1.50 $2
MS PF 65 $1.75 $2 $2.50
MS PF 66 $2.50 $3.50 $5
MS PF 67 $5 $6 $7.50
MS PF 68 $7.50 $8.50 $12.50
MS PF 69 $12.50 $15 $25
MS PF 70 / / $350

The standard proof coin’s price ranges from $0.30 to $12.50. If you’re looking for a higher quality, go for the Cameo Proof grading. They can cost anywhere from $0.35 to $15.00 depending on their condition.

For even better quality, consider the Deep Cameo (or Ultra Cameo) option. These are the most valuable in the Proof series and can sell for anywhere between $0.50 and $350.00.

1988 Nickel Error Coins

Now that we know the prices for the standard 1988 Nickel coins let’s get into the market of the ones with errors. The following coins display various production errors, making them valuable to collectors and coin enthusiasts.

The errors can range from minor misprints to major defects, resulting in significant variations from the original design. Some examples include off-centered strikes, double-strikes, and clipped metal.

1988 D Nickel DDO Overstruck and Off-center Error

1988 D Nickel DDO Overstruck and Off-center Error

This coin does not provide a sole error, but two: DDO and Off-center. DDO refers to a doubled die obverse, a type of error that occurs during the manufacturing process. Meanwhile, an off-center coin is one that has been struck slightly offset from its intended position.

This 1988 D Nickel coin features a DDO and a slight off-center strike. It’s more noticeable on the upper right obverse. It has a price of $444.

1988 P Nickel Clipped Planchet Error

1988 P Nickel Clipped Planchet Error

During the minting process, planchets are created by punching shapes out of large sheets of metal. As the sheet moves forward, additional blanks are punched out. In case the sheet is not fed far enough ahead, the punch may overlap with an area that has already been punched.

This results in a circular “clip” of missing metal on the planchet. This is the error present in this 1988 P Nickel that is up on eBay for $30.60. The clipped part is present in the lower left side of the nickel.

1988 D Jefferson Nickel Off Center Mint Error

1988 D Jefferson Nickel Off Center Mint Error

This 1988 D Nickel showcases the Off-Center error. With this 1988 D Nickel, this mistake is not that hard to miss. The die only strikes the blank planchet on the upper side, leaving almost all of the coin without engraving. This error is available for $31.74.

1988 Nickel Value Grading Based on Four Conditions

As the coin’s value is directly tied to its grading, these circumstances should be carefully evaluated. This includes factors such as wear, level of detail, shine and color of the metal, and overall shape.

Uncirculated State

The coins in the Uncirculated category (ranging from MS-60 to MS-70) are usually the most valuable ones. They have a glossy look, and all the intricate designs are visible.

Extremely Fine State

In the Extremely Fine (EF-40 to EF-50) state, minor scratches and wear marks may occur due to usage. There may be some wear on the raised areas of the coin, but there should not be any overlapping features.

Fine State

The F-12 to F-15 range is the in-between stage of Extremely Fine and Good condition for this item. There may also be slight blending of features, particularly behind the figure’s ear and hairline.

Good State

Coins with a good grade (G-4 to G-6) usually have low value for the 1988 Nickel due to noticeable signs of wear, particularly on Jefferson’s portrait. The jaw, cheek, and brow could appear blurred and flattened.

1988 Nickel Value Grading

Where to Buy and Sell 1988 Nickel?

Buying and selling collectibles can be a complex task, especially with all the scams on the internet these days. If you don’t have access to local coin trading, consider checking out trusted auction sites like eBay.

Another helpful tip is to browse through ongoing auctions on the PCGS website for specific coins. You can even narrow your search by year and series, making it quick and easy to buy or sell a 1988 Nickel!

In Conclusion

Although there are coins with a high estimated value, the 1988 Nickel’s place in the market is quite low. So, it must be hard to find with their low-price range. With this 1988 Nickel Value Guide, you’ll know the right caveats to buy or trade this particular series!

1988 Nickel Value chart

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