Keelboat Nickel

Westward Journey Nickels

Background

In 2004 and 2005, the U.S. Mint commemorated the bicentennials of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition with the Westward Journey Nickel Series. The Keelboat Nickel is the second of four coins in the series.

The obverse depicts the portrait of Thomas Jefferson used on the nickel since 1938. The reverse features a keelboat with full sail. The keelboat transported the Lewis and Clark 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.

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Characteristics

Obverse (heads): Bears the likeness of Thomas Jefferson used on the nickel since 1938.

Reverse (tails): Features an angled, side-view of the keelboat with full sail that transported members of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are in full uniform in the bow.

Obverse Inscriptions

  • IN GOD WE TRUST
  • LIBERTY
  • 2004

Reverse Inscriptions

  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM
  • LEWIS & CLARK
  • FIVE CENTS

Mint and Mint Mark

Specifications

Composition Weight Diameter Thickness Edge No. of Reeds
Cupro-Nickel
25% Ni
Balance Cu
5.000 g
0.835 in.
21.21 mm
1.95 mm Plain N/A

Artist Information

Obverse
  • Designer: Felix Schlag
Reverse
  • Al Maletsky
Content last reviewed January 8, 2021