Louisiana Purchase/Peace Medal 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 Louisiana Purchase/Peace Medal Nickel is the first of four coins in the series.

The obverse depicts the portrait of Thomas Jefferson designed by Felix Schlag used on the nickel since 1938. The reverse features a rendition of the reverse of the original Jefferson Peace Medal designed by John Reich in 1801. The medals were presented to Native American chiefs and other important leaders as tokens of goodwill at treaty signings and other events. The Lewis and Clark expedition carried these medals on their journey.

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Characteristics

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

Reverse (tails): Features a rendition of the reverse of the original 1801 Jefferson Peace Medal depicting clasped hands, signifying peace and friendship. The hand with a military uniform cuff symbolizes the American government. The other, with a silver band adorned with beads and a stylized American eagle, represents the Native American community with whom the United States sought good relations.

Obverse Inscriptions

  • IN GOD WE TRUST
  • LIBERTY
  • 2004

Reverse Inscriptions

  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
  • LOUISIANA PURCHASE
  • 1803
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM
  • 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
  • Sculptor: Norman E. Nemeth
  • Designer: John Reich
Content last reviewed January 8, 2021