A 1943 nickel is from the Jefferson nickel design set, which the U.S. Mint began using in 1938. Those minted from 1941 to 1943 are considered wartime Jefferson silver nickels because of their increased silver content.
The Jefferson nickel features a left-facing bust of Thomas Jefferson as the principal design and an engraving of Monticello, the home of Jefferson, on its reverse side. The 1943 Jefferson nickel is composed of 56 percent copper, 35 percent silver and 9 percent manganese. Regular Jefferson nickels are composed of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel. Prior the introduction of the Jefferson nickel, the U.S. Mint used the Buffalo nickel design.