35% silver wartime Jefferson nickels were produced from October 1942 through 1945 because of the military demand for nickel during World War II. To alleviate this need, the US government changed the composition of nickels during these years to an alloy that consisted of 35% silver, 56% copper and 9% manganese. To alert the public to this new alloy change, the mint mark was made significantly larger and moved to a position above the dome of Monticello. Upon returning to the normal copper-nickel composition in 1946, the mint mark was moved back to it’s old location to the right of Monticello. Each wartime nickel contains approximately .05625 ounces of pure silver.