Nation to Get Two New Nickel Designs in One Year

WASHINGTON– The Nation is getting not one newly-designed 5-cent coin for 2004, but two. United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore unveiled the two new designs for the reverse (tails side) of the 2004-dated nickel today in a news conference at United States Mint Headquarters in Washington, D.C. This will be the first time in 65 years that the design of America’s nickel has changed. The current nickel design was introduced in 1938.

“This is a historic moment for the Nation — the first change in our nickel in 65 years,” said Director Fore. “These nickels honor Thomas Jefferson and commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase, the momentous agreement that doubled the size of our country, and the remarkable expedition of Lewis and Clark, who journeyed more than 8,000 miles from Virginia to the Pacific Ocean and back to see the lands and the people of the great Northwest.”

Americans will see the first newly–designed nickel in the Spring of 2004, and the second design will be put into circulation in the Fall of 2004. On April 23, 2003, President Bush signed legislation authorizing the Secretary to change the design of the nickel through 2005 to commemorate the bicentennials of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The obverse (heads side) of the 2004-dated nickel will remain the current likeness of Thomas Jefferson. A likeness of Jefferson will remain on the obverse throughout the nickel series, and his home at Monticello will return to the reverse in 2006, although both the obverse and reverse may not be the current likenesses of Jefferson and Monticello.

A rendition of the Jefferson Peace Medal will be depicted on the reverse of the first nickel that will be minted in the Spring of 2004. The Peace Medals, bearing the likeness of President Thomas Jefferson on one side and symbols of peace and friendship on the other, were presented ceremonially to Native American Chiefs and other important leaders. The clasped hands were meant to signify peace. The inscriptions “Louisiana Purchase” and “1803” on this 2004-dated nickel commemorate the bicentennial of President Jefferson’s historic land purchase from France in 1803.

On the second nickel that will begin circulation in the Fall of 2004, the reverse image will be an angled view of the keelboat with full sail that transported the Lewis and Clark expedition members and supplies as they traveled the rivers of the Louisiana Territory in search of a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean. Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are in full uniform in the bow.

Created by Congress in 1792, the United States Mint is the Federal government agency responsible for producing all legal tender coinage for the United States. In FY 2002, the United States Mint manufactured more than 14 billion coins and generated revenue of $1.8 billion, returning $1 billion to the United States Treasury.

For more information, please visit www.usmint.gov. For images of the designs for the new 2004-dated nickels, please visit: http:www.usmint.gov/mint_programs.

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Downlink: 4000 (Vertical)

Pathing: Tape Playout at Grace Digital Media-Telstar 5/C 15

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This b-roll will contain: 1. Close-up of nickel designs; 2. B-roll of current 2003 nickels being produced by the United States Mint; 3. Scenes from press conference unveiling of designs; 4. Soundbites of United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore and other officials from the event; 5. Small child spending nickels and counting them.

For more information on b-roll, contact: Doug Hecox at 202-354-7577

Contact:
Press inquiries: Michael White (202) 354-7222
Customer Service information: (800) USA MINT (872-6468)