Counterfeit Nickel
(1944 No P)
An unofficial variety of the wartime coin dated 1944 was made in 1954 when counterfeit nickels were produced by Francis LeRoy Henning of Erial, New Jersey. He had previously been arrested for counterfeiting $5 bills.
The 1944 nickels were quickly spotted since Henning neglected to add the large mintmark of the Philidelphia mint (P). He also made counterfeit nickels dated 1939, 1946, 1947 and 1953.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 of Henning's nickels reached circulation. Henning dumped another 200,000 nickels in Copper Creek, New Jersey, of which only 14,000 were recovered. Another 200,000 are thought to have been dumped in the Schuylkill River.
When caught, Henning was sentenced to 3 years in jail, and had to pay a $5,000 fine.
“Henning” Nickel
No (P) Mint Mark
Looped R
Non looped R
(P) Mint Mark
Coin Type: Silver “War” Jefferson Nickel - 5¢
Genuine Weight: 5 grams
Metals: 56% Copper, 35% Silver &
9% Manganese
Counterfeit’s Weight: 5.4 grams