1944 No-P 5c -- but not a Henning Nickel?

The Henning Nickel is a famous counterfeit nickel that was produced without a mintmark and with prewar copper-nickel composition planchets, but dated 1944. Besides those obvious details, there are some more-subtle diagnostics: Henning Nickels have a flaw on the upright of the R in PLURIBUS, and they are also a bit overweight.

The first pair of images below shows a Henning Nickel that I've had for a while. You can clearly see the flaw on the R of PLURIBUS. It is also overweight, at 5.316 grams.

I recently purchased a couple of other pieces that I first thought were Henning Nickels. Now I'm not sure. These do NOT have the flaw on the R of PLURIBUS. They also are not overweight, at 4.95 and 4.93 grams.

Is anyone familiar with counterfeit 1944 nickels that were not produced by Henning, or that do not have the normal Henning diagnostics?

For giggles, I'm also attaching pictures of a regular 1944-P nickel that was struck through grease that almost completely obscured the mintmark. I know you can't see the mintmark in the pictures, but it's there (just barely) if you tilt the coin just right in the light. Regardless of whether you can see the mintmark, it is obvious that this was struck on a wartime planchet, with the streaky dark silver toning. This one weighs 4.77 grams.

All pictures were taken at the same time with the same lighting.




1944 no-P Henning Nickel (definitely a Henning) 5.316 grams:

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1944 no-P Nickel (maybe not a Henning?) 4.95 grams:

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1944 no-P Nickel (maybe not a Henning?) 4.93 grams:

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1944-P Nickel (struck through grease) 4.77 grams:

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Comments

  • MWallaceMWallace Posts: 1,195 ✭✭✭
    Most, but not all Henning's Nickels have the flaw in the R of PLURIBUS.

    Here is a 1939 dated Henning's Nickel. It does have the flaw in the "R".

    image

    image
  • drei3reedrei3ree Posts: 2,899 ✭✭✭
    Probably had the "P" removed.
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 24,807 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Don't have time to study them before church, but my gut feeling says they are Hennings.
    Later.
    TD
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.--Ben Franklin
  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 35,102 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Looks like a Henning product. He used more than one set of dies. Have you weighed your coin?
  • RichieURichRichieURich Posts: 7,629 ✭✭✭✭
    What MWallace said. We call the ones without the defect in (PLU) R (IBUS) early die state and the ones with the defect late die state.

    Dwight Stuckey wrote an excellent 31 page monograph "The 1944 Counterfeit Jefferson Nickel" which is a good read. Someone on the Forum might have some for sale. Stuckey identifies the dates of the Henning nickels as 1939, 1944, 1946, 1947, 1953, and one other that we're not sure about. Stuckey mentions that 1943, 1945, and 1951 are possibilities. I think it might be 1940.

    Rich Uhrich Rare U. S. Coins Inc. An authorized PCGS dealer, and a contributor to the Red Book.

  • DuPapaDuPapa Posts: 499 ✭✭
    My (PLU) R (IBUS) early die state.... weighs 5.56g

    image

    image

    image

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 24,807 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I still think they are all Hennings, except for the obvious warnik struck through the grease.

    We never studied these that closely at ANACS. I confess that we dismissed them as mere amateur work, not worthy of sturying die states and/or die varieties.

    It is possible that a second reverse die was used, and that the second die was copied from the same host coin as the first die, which would explain why they are so similar (if indeed a second die was made).

    One question I never asked was why the weights tend to be off, as Henning had his planchets commercially prepared. Perhaps he deliberately ordered them at some standard other than exactly 5.0 grams, lest the manufacturer suspect they would be used for slugging or counterfeiting. Today it would be illegal to order 5.0 gram planchets of 75 copper/25 nickel of 21.21 mm.

    Does anybody have an "Unc." Henning, or at least a nice AU they could post?

    TD
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.--Ben Franklin
  • Wonder how many are at the bottom of Cooper River in Camden/Pennsauken? Because of all of the rumors about him dumping them, I always wanted to look for them when I was a kid


    -sog

    Selling 20-40 Errors a week. Including offcenter Halves, double struck cents, and rare date offcenters
  • DuPapaDuPapa Posts: 499 ✭✭
    It is possible that a second reverse die was used,


    Looks to me like more than 1 reverse die.

    Compare "O" in Of to the others.

    In order are OP-1, OP-2, OP-3, 1939, mine.

    image image image image image

    Higher resolution pics of the the first 4 would help.
  • jonathanbjonathanb Posts: 2,746 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I tried to get better pictures, but I'm afraid that's pretty much the best I can do. I'm not set up for microphotos.

    Thanks for the post, DuPapa. That the highest grade Henning that I've seen!

    jonathan
  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 35,102 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Does anybody have an "Unc." Henning, or at least a nice AU they could post? >>



    I doubt that there are any high grade examples. Henning was smart enough to make his coins look well worn so they would circulate without too much notice.
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