The 2005 Westward Journey Nickel Series™ Designs
In commemoration of the bicentennials of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition, the President enacted Public Law 108-15 to modify the Jefferson 5-cent coin (nickel) to reflect images evocative of the historic expedition into the Louisiana Territory. The United States Mint began the Westward Journey Nickel Series™ in 2004 with the release of the Peace Medal and Keelboat nickels. In 2005, a contemporary image of President Jefferson will appear on the nickel, along with two new reverse designs that recognize the American Indians and wildlife encountered by the Lewis and Clark expedition and the progress and culmination of the journey. Depictions of Monticello and Thomas Jefferson will return to the nickel in 2006.
2005 Obverse Design: "President Jefferson with Handwritten Liberty"
The obverse design for the 2005 nickels will bear, for the first time in 67 years, a new likeness of America's third president, Thomas Jefferson. The "Liberty" inscription on the coin is based upon Jefferson's own handwriting. The design is based on the marble bust of Jefferson by the French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon, completed in 1789. The design was made age-appropriate to his presidency by utilizing later paintings by Gilbert Stuart and Rembrandt Peale. The new obverse image of President Jefferson replaces the image of President Jefferson that had been on the nickel since 1938.
The design was created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist, Joe Fitzgerald, of Silver Spring, Maryland. United States Mint sculptor-engraver Don Everhart sculpted the design.
2005 Spring Reverse Design: "American Bison"
The first of two new reverses on the 2005-dated nickel will feature the American bison, recognizing the American Indians and wildlife encountered by the Lewis and Clark expedition. Expedition journals described the buffalo, and it was an animal of great significance to many American Indian cultures.
The design was created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist, Jamie Franki, of Concord, North Carolina. United States Mint sculptor-engraver Norman E. Nemeth sculpted the design. The image of a buffalo adorned the reverse of the nickel from 1913-1938.
2005 Summer/Fall Reverse Design: "Ocean in view! O! The joy!"
In late 2005, the nickel will feature a scene of the Pacific Ocean and an inscription reflecting an excited entry in the journal of Captain William Clark on November 7, 1805. The design – a design based on a photograph by Andrew E. Cier of Astoria, Oregon – visually depicts the expedition's exultation on believing they had finally reached the Pacific Ocean after so many months of arduous travel. View Mr. Cier's photograph here.
The design was created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist, Joe Fitzgerald, of Silver Spring, Maryland, and was sculpted by United States Mint sculptor/engraver Donna Weaver.