There are approximately one or two dozen known 1964 Special Strike Jefferson Nickels.
To this day, it is still unknown why Special Strike Jefferson Nickels and other denominations dated 1964 were struck. The 1964 Special Strike Jefferson Nickels usually display an extremely sharp strike, as well as having sharp and square edge rims. The surfaces feature a Satin like appearance. However, the coins are not circulation strikes, nor are they proofs, hence, the coins are referred to as Special Strikes.
The existence of the1964 Special Strike Jefferson Nickels was completely unknown, until they first appeared in a Stacks Coin Auction in 1993. Other denominations featuring the Special Strike status also appeared in that same auction. This included several 1964 Lincoln cents, Roosevelt Dimes, Washington Quarters and Kennedy Half Dollars all bearing the Special Strike surfaces.
It is believed that all the 1964 SMS coins originated from the Lester Merkin collection, which was consigned to Stacks in 1993. Lester Merkin was a renowned coin dealer for many years and he had acquired some great coins through out his profession. This was the first and possibly also the last time, that all 1964 Special Strike coins will ever surface in the market all together at once.
It is believed that Lester Merkin originally purchased the coins from a friend of his. Merkins friends name was, Eva Adams who also happened to be the Director of the U.S. Mint, from 1961 through 1969!
With one or two dozen known examples known to exist, the 1964 Special Strike Jefferson Nickels are considered to be very scarce. The fact that their existence remained unknown for almost thirty years, only classifies them as being one of the most intriguing coins ever struck by the U.S. Mint.