Lewis and Clark & Louisiana Purchase Nickels
2004-Dated Nickel Series Facts
Back to the U.S. Mint Press Release List
In commemoration of the Louisiana Purchase, and Lewis and Clark's
expedition, the President enacted Public Law 108-15 to modify the Jefferson
five-cent coin (nickel) in 2003, 2004 and 2005, to reflect images evocative
of their historic expedition into the Louisiana Territory. A depiction of
Monticello will return to the nickel in 2006. The obverse will continue to
bear the likeness of President Jefferson.
Gerard Baker , a Native American and Superintendent of the Lewis and
Clark National Historic Trail, comments on the Peace Medal.
The first of two new reverses on the 2004-dated Jefferson nickel will
feature a rendition of the reverse of the original Indian Peace Medal
commissioned for Lewis and Clark's expedition, bearing the likeness of
America's third president on one side, and symbols of peace and friendship
on the other. The medals were presented to Native American chiefs and other
important leaders as tokens of goodwill at treaty signings and other events.
The design, by United States Mint sculptor/engraver Norman E. Nemeth,
features two hands clasped in friendship - one with a military uniform cuff,
symbolizing the American government, and the other with a silver band
adorned with beads and a stylized American eagle, representing the Native
American community with whom the United States sought good relations.
In late 2004, the 2004-dated Jefferson nickel will feature an angled,
side-view of the keelboat with full sail that transported members of the
expedition and their supplies through the rivers of the Louisiana
Territory in search of a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean. Built
to the specifications of Captain Lewis, the 55-foot keelboat could be
sailed, rowed, poled like a raft, or towed from the riverbank. The
design, by United States Mint sculptor/engraver Al Maletsky, shows
Captains Lewis and Clark in full uniform in the bow of the keelboat.