During World War II, nickel was a valuable component in guns, tanks, and airplanes. To help the war effort, the U.S. Mint eliminated nickel from the 5¢ Nickel coins. Instead, it struck the Nickel in a new allay that includes 35% silver. Made from 1942 until the war ended in 1945, these were “emergency” coins and the first and only Silver Nickels in U.S. history. The general design was unchanged: Thomas Jefferson on he obverse and Monticello on the reverse. This complete year set includes one coin from each of the four years of issue: 1942, 1943, 1944, and 1945. In order to identify the Silver Nickels from the earlier coins made with nickel, the U.S. Mint included a prominent mint mark on the reverse of each coin, above the dome of Monticello. These are the only coins with the mint mark in this position. Each coin is more than 65 year old and has been out of circulation for generations.