Obverse Design: "Jefferson, 1800"
The obverse of the 2006 nickel depicts a portrait of Thomas Jefferson completed during 1800. The United States Mint's Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Jamie Franki of Concord, North Carolina, designed the obverse, using as his inspiration the first Rembrandt Peale life study of Jefferson, done in 1800. Depicting Jefferson as Vice President at 57 years of age, just before becoming President, this Peale portrait had a significant iconographic role during Jefferson's lifetime; it was frequently used as a reference to create most of the images by which Jefferson's contemporaries came to know him. The cursive "Liberty" inscription, which debuted on the 2005 nickels, is again presented in Jefferson's own handwriting.
The obverse was engraved by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donna Weaver.
Reverse Design: "Monticello"
The reverse of the 2006 nickel features the classic, familiar rendition of Monticello, President Thomas Jefferson's Virginia home, originally executed by artist Felix Schlag and first chosen to adorn the coin's reverse in 1938. However, the 2006 reverse design is crisper and more detailed than Americans have seen it in recent years, having been carefully restored by the United States Mint, guided by Schlag's original work. Among the changes made are:
Facets of the dome of Monticello have been restored.
The balconies of the building have been reworked.
Relief has been restored to the detail around the door and windows to reflect more of Felix Schlag's original work.
Jefferson designed Monticello himself, and construction began in 1768 when he was 25 years old. It was completed in 1823 when the former President and founding father was in his eightieth year. A skilled horticulturalist, Jefferson also planned the smallest details of the landscaping at Monticello.