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Jefferson Nickels

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Showing 1 - 24 of 230 products

Learn More about Jefferson Nickels

The Origin of Jefferson Nickels

To honor the bicentennial of Thomas Jefferson’s birth, the U.S. Mint held a contest to select a new design for the nickel five-cent coin. Artist Felix Schlag won $1,000 for his winning design. Struck in 75% copper and 25% nickel, Jefferson nickels have become an affordable collector favorite.   

Wartime Jefferson Nickels 

During World War II, copper and nickel were in great demand for the war effort. So, Jefferson nickels minted 1942-1945 were struck in a special 35% silver alloy that contained less copper than previous issues and no nickel. These special wartime issues are easily recognized by their larger mint mark on the reverse above Monticello’s dome – including the first use of the “P” mark of the Philadelphia Mint. 

Westward Journey Jefferson Nickels  

From 2004-2005, the Westward Journey Nickel Series™ was minted to commemorate the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark’s journey to explore the vast Louisiana Purchase territory. This series included four unique reverse designs. The peace medal reverse, by Norman E. Nemeth was an adaptation of certain Indian Peace medals commissioned for the expedition. The Keelboat reverse, by Al Maletsky, pictures the boat used for transportation and supplies for the journey. In 2005, the obverse of Jefferson nickels was redesigned by Joe Fitzgerald, inspired by a marble bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon. The “Liberty” inscription was based on Jefferson’s own handwriting. The American Bison reverse, by Jamie Franki, indicates the significance the bison held in many Native American cultures. Finally, the Ocean in View reverse depicts the entry in Clark’s journey where he writes “Ocean in view! O! The joy!” 

Modified Jefferson Nickels

After the Westward Journey series ended, the reverse was changed back to the original Monticello design. However, the obverse features a revised facing portrait of Jefferson, by Jamie Frankie.  

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