Nickels Get a New Look
The 2006 nickel front: President Jefferson looking at you!
The first president to look right at you, but not the first person!

The US mint has changed the nickel again! A new design showed up on the front of the nickel on January 12, 2006.

It's the first US coin ever to show a president looking right at you.

The front shows an image of Thomas Jefferson based on an oil painting.

The artist who painted the new image, Jamie Franki, was inspired by Rembrandt Peale's oil portrait of Jefferson, painted in 1800.

The reverse brings back the familiar, but more detailed, image of Monticello, Jefferson's Virginia home. This image has been out of sight for two years (2004-2005), during the Westward Journey Nickel series.

The 2006 nickel back: Monticello.
Home sweet home in Monticello.

The new 2006 nickel is the last one in the Westward Journey Nickel series.

Westward Journey

The 2006 nickel ends the series of nickels called The Westward Journey. This series, which began in 2003, honors the 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

In 1803, the United States signed a treaty, or agreement, with France. In the agreement the French gave the United States the rights to the land the French had called Louisiana.

The Louisiana Territory was much larger than today's state of Louisiana: Take a look. It nearly doubled the size of the US territory back then!

Go! Check it out!

The 2005 nickel back: Ocean View.
Imagine the joy of seeing the ocean, after three years of walking!

In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson was eager to find out what this new land looked like. He asked his assistant Meriwether Lewis to take a trip from St. Louis, Missouri westward.

Jefferson wanted Lewis to map out his path and find a route to the Pacific Ocean.

After nearly three years, Lewis, his partner William Clark, and their crew finally returned home with good news.

They had made friends with many of the American Indians they met, opened the area up for trade, and found a path to the ocean.

The journey was a success!

New nickels tell the story

The 2005 nickel back: Keelboat.
Lewis and Clark rode in boats that could do everything but tell them which way to go!

During the series, Thomas Jefferson on the front of the nickel got a new look. Click here to learn more.

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