Generally anything made before 1939 is what collectors buys. Sometimes even these coins are worth less than a dollar. Nickels made from 1942-45 contain 35% silver. These are worth around 2.00 USD.
A 1939 Jefferson Nickel without a mintmark is valued around $0.25-$125. The higher values ($100+) are for proof coins with frosted devices, or images, and mirror-like fields. The average circulated 1939 is worth around $0.50. Average uncirculated 1939 is around $2. A 1939-S Jefferson Nickel is worth between $1.50 and $40. Average circulated value is $4, average uncirculated is $20. A 1939 nickel with the D mintmark is worth between $10-$110, average circulated about $$12, average uncirculated $65. Some 1939 no mintmark nickels show the words "MONTICELLO" and "FIVE CENTS" doubled. This variety is worth between $75 and $700. Included is a picture of a 1939 nickel with doubling. Note especially doubling on the "M" and both "O"'s in "MONTICELLO".
As with many old coins the answer is a definite "maybe". For US nickels, look for dates earlier than 1946. Some of them, e.g. "war nickels" with a large mint mark over Monticello on the back, are worth more because they have a small amount of silver in them. Others, e.g. 1940 and 1941, are only worth a bit more than face value. 1938 and 1939 Jefferson nickels are collectible, especially if they have an "S" mint mark to the right of Monticello. Buffalo nickels that still have visible dates can be worth at least a dollar and possibly more, while Liberty Head (a/k/a "V") nickels command a price of at least a couple of dollars in worn condition. The situation is equally complicated for Canadian nickels. Most of the coins with a picture of Queen Elizabeth are only worth face value to 10 or 15 cents, but a few varieties and errors among those minted in 1953-54 can be worth hundreds of dollars; nickels with these dates should be examined by a professional. Earlier dates with a portrait of George VI can be worth at least 25 cents, with errors and special varieties carrying a higher premium. Finally, any with a portrait of George V retail for at a couple of dollars at the minimum.
About maybe 4 cents
They did not make Slovakia nickels in 1939, they made Jeffreson nickels if you're talking Amarican currency.
War nickels were only made from 1942-1945. Your nickel is worth exactly five cents.
Those dated 1938 or 1939 AND have a "D" or "S" mintmark to the right of the building, are rare dates and will be worth at least a dollar and perhaps a lot more. Those dated 1939 (with no mintmark) AND have the word MONTICELLO clearly doubled, are worth $25 or more. Anything dated 1942 to 1945 AND with a large "P", "D", or "S" mintmark above the building are made from silver and are worth at least 75 cents. Lastly, if dated 1950, with a "D" mintmark to the right of the building, that is a rare date worth $10 or more. Anything else would have to be in gem uncirculated condition to have any significant added value.
There's no blanket answer. You have to know the rarer dates and mint marks. In general, though, most nickels minted since 1946 have little or no added value in average circulated condition. You'd have to find a nickel minted before the mid-1950s that shows very little wear for it to be worth extra.One exception to the above is a 1950 nickel minted in Denver; it'll have a small "D" to the right of Monticello on the back. These had a relatively low mintage and retail for anywhere from $5 to $12 in circulated condition, depending on wear.There's lots more to choose from among earlier nickels:> Any "war nickels" dated 1942 through 1945 that have a large mint mark over Monticello's dome will be worth at least a dollar or so. Nickel metal was needed for the war effort so nickels were minted from an alloy of silver, copper, and manganese. Silver is worth much more today so these nickels have a higher intrinsic value. Also, regardless of popular "myth"-conception, these are the only US nickels that ever contained any silver.> Nickels dated 1939 and earlier can retail for more as well. 1938 and 1939 Jefferson nickels can sell for 15¢ to a few dollars, and buffalo (Indian head) nickels may bring a dollar or more, again depending on on condition and mint mark.
The value of a 1939 D nickel will vary depending on the circulation and overall condition of the coin. However, most 1939 D nickels', even in poor condition are worth an upwards of $95.00.
The last buffalo nickels were minted in 1938. All 1939 nickels carry the familiar picture of Thomas Jefferson.
For Jefferson nickels, the rarest is the 1950-D, followed by 1939-D and 1938-S.