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During World War II Nickel was added to the list of strategic materials. The mint had a serious problem in the fact that critical war industries required so much of the gray metal that there was none left for nickels.

The war also provided another problem; most non-nickel alloys were rejected by vending machines. Do to the problems of war, the thousands, of phone booths and vending machines in use at the times could not be converted over to new mechanisms, and the country could not afford to have the machines shut down.

After much testing an alloy was found that matched the cupro-nickel in every way important. An alloy of 35% silver, 56% copper, and 9% manganese was chosen. In order to tell these new wartime nickels from earlier coins all were mintmarked of the dome on the rear.

Mintage

1942P - 57,900,000
1942S - 32,900,000
1943P – 271,165,000
1943D – 15,294,000
1943S – 104,060,000
1944P – 119,150,000
1944D – 32,209,000
1944S - 21,640,000
1945P – 119,408,100
1945D - 37,158,000
1945S - 58,939,000


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