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March 1, 2005

2005 American Bison Nickel Featuring Bold New Jefferson Image Heads into Circulation

United States Mint Hosts National Nickel Exchange

WASHINGTON – Amid the drama of American Indian drumming, singing and dancing, in the presence of the revered American Bison, United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore presented the new 2005 American Bison nickel to the American people in a Capitol Hill ceremony.

“The 2005 American Bison nickel will look significantly different from any nickels you’ve seen,” she told the crowd. “It marks the first time that the image of President Jefferson has ever changed on the nickel, and we have the word “Liberty” in his handwriting.” Looking at Cody, the live Buffalo, she added, “There is a beautiful, strong, classic American bison on the reverse.”

Honored speakers included Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY); U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral; Mr. Emil Her Many Horses of the Oglala Lakota, Associate Curator of the National Museum of the American Indian; Daniel P. Jordan, President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation; and Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts. Cody, a 2000-pound American Bison, stood nearby, bringing to life the new reverse image on the 2005 nickel.

Following the ceremony at Upper Senate Park, the National Nickel Exchange proceeded inside Union Station with a public exchange of bills for $2 rolls of shiny, new American Bison nickels.

The Nation’s new 2005 nickels with a bold, new image of President Thomas Jefferson on the obverse and an American bison on the reverse, went into circulation Monday, February 28. Millions of new nickels that look significantly different from the Nation’s previous 5-cent coins are on the way to the Nation’s banks. Americans can expect to receive the new nickels in their change in a few weeks or they can ask for them at their local banks.

The American Bison nickel is the third design in the United States Mint’s Westward Journey Nickel Series™, which began with the Peace Medal nickel, followed by the Keelboat nickel, in 2004. The Ocean in View nickel, a fourth design, will be released later in 2005. A law passed by Congress and approved by President Bush in April 2003, authorized the redesign of the Nation’s 5-cent coin for the first time since 1938 to commemorate the bicentennials of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition. Starting February 28, 2005, Americans may order bags and rolls of American Bison nickels online at www.usmint.gov.

For photos of the 2005 American Bison nickel, go to: http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=photo#2004NickelSeries

News media: For b-roll video 2005 American Bison nickels being minted, call United States Mint Public Affairs: 202-354-7222.

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