Unlike the metals in pennies, dimes, and quarters, the metal in the nickel coin has real value. The Daily Reckoning explains why you should be hanging onto your nickels.
The nickel is the only U.S. coin that contains metal worth the coin’s purchasing power. The nickel is still made with genuine nickel metal, unlike dimes and quarters which used to be made with silver but are now made with cheaper metals. This means that the nickel is actually worth 5.5 cents in metal salvage value. While pre-1965 dimes and quarters and pre-1970 half dollars do hold value unlike today’s versions, most people are aware of this and have pulled them almost entirely from circulation. This leaves nickels available for the taking. When the nickel is debased and the metal replaced with cheaper zinc, today’s nickels will retain their metal value and be worth hoarding.