Lot 20169 of our current iAuction 3534 showcases an important Top Pop rarity for enthusiasts of pristine 20th century U.S. type coins. 1939-D is essentially the key date of the entire series, with a comparatively paltry production figure of 3,514,000 coins. While a significant quantity of Jefferson nickels from the inaugural mintage were saved for their novelty, this second-year issue was largely overlooked and saw heavy circulation.
The present 1939-D Jefferson nickel exhibits the Reverse of 1938, characterized by a slightly wavy construction to the steps of Monticello on the reverse. Soon into the production year -- Breen suggests as early as February -- this reverse hub was altered to better strengthen and delineate these steps, creating a second design type known as the Reverse of 1940. Because of this transition, far fewer examples with the Reverse of 1938 were produced than the later reverse, increasing their desirability and limiting the potential for high-grade survivors. Fortunately, preservation is not an issue for the current, delightful offering.
The surfaces are uniformly satiny and undisturbed, with delicate champagne iridescence that gives way to lilac in some areas. Areas of die polish (as made) populate the fields in some areas, giving a faint reflectivity under certain conditions.
Certified as MS-67+ by PCGS, this represents the finest grade awarded by that service, sharing the spotlight with only two other coins. A prized addition to a top-level Registry Set or advanced collection, this lovely Superb Gem is sure to elicit strong bidding activity.
For the opportunity to bid on this and many other numismatic favorites, visit StacksBowers.com to view and participate in our current iAuction 3534. We wish you the best of luck!