Flying Eagle Cents

Indian Head Cents

Lincoln Cents

Liberty Head Nickels

Indian Head (Buffalo) Nickels

Jefferson Nickels

Barber Dimes

Winged Liberty Dimes

Roosevelt Dimes

Barber Quarter Dollar

Standing Liberty Quarter Dollar

Washington Quarter Dollars
    Original Series: 1932-1999

Washington Quarter Dollars
    50-States Comm Series: 1999-2008

Washington Quarter Dollars
    DC & Territories: 2009

Washington Quarter Dollars
    America the Beautiful: 2010-ongoing

Barber Half Dollars

Walking Liberty Half Dollars

Franklin Half Dollars

Kennedy Half Dollars

Morgan Dollars

Peace Dollars

Eisenhower Dollars

Susan B. Anthony Dollars

Sacagawea Dollars

Presidential Dollars

Jefferson Nickels: 1938-ongoing

The Jefferson nickel was introduced mid-year in 1938, so there were two different nickels issued that year: The Indian Head (Buffalo) nickel and the Jefferson Nickel.  The obverse side of the Jefferson nickel features a portrait of Thomas Jefferson, our third president.  The reverse side features Monticello, Jefferson's home.  The size, composition, and weight was unchanged from the Indian head nickel.

1938 - 1941        
  • Designer: Felix Schlag
  • Diameter: 21.2 mm; plain edge
  • Composition: 75% copper, 25% nickel
  • Weight: 5 grams
  • Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
  • Mint marks were engraved in the coin dies only for the Denver (D) and San Francisco (S) mints. No mint mark was used for the Philadelphia mint. The mint mark appears on the reverse of the coin to the right of Monticello.

1942 - 1945
(WW2 Years)
Nickel was a constrained commodity during the war because it was needed for war materials, so a silver alloy was used for the five-cent coins of these four years.  The size and weight remained the same.
  • Composition: 56% copper, 35% silver, 09% manganese (.05626 oz. pure silver)
  • Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
  • Mint marks: The mint marks were significantly changed for this series in order to quickly identify the coins with silver content.  The new mint marks were much larger, and were placed above the dome of Monticello. Also, the letter P was used to identify coins from the Philadelphia mint.

1946 - 2003        
After WW2, the nickel returned to same composition and mint marks of the original coin in 1938.  However, there were some mint mark changes through the years.
  • Starting in 1946, mint marks reverted to their original size and location to the right of Monticello. Again, P was not used.
  • From 1964-1967, no mint marks were used.
  • Starting in 1968, the mint marks were relocated to the front of the coin, and placed in the triangular area below the date. Again, only D and S mint marks were used.
  • Starting in 1981, the P mint mark was reintroduced for the coins from the Philadelphia mint.  The location of the mint mark remained on the front of the coin as was started in 1968.

The five-cent coin was redesigned for 2004 and 2005 to commemorate the bicentennial of the Lousiana Purchase (1803) and subsequent Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806).  There were two reverse images in 2004.
  • The first, designed by United States Mint sculptor-engraver Norman E. Nemeth, depicts an adaptation of the Indian Peace Medals struck for Jefferson.
  • The second, by Mint sculptor-engraver Al Maletsky, depicts a keelboat like the one used in the Expedition.

Continuing the bicentennial celebration started in 2004, the 2005 nickel received design changes on both sides of the coin.
  • The obverse features a new image of Jefferson, designed by Joe Fitzgerald based on Houdon's bust of Jefferson.  The word "Liberty" was taken from Jefferson's handwritten draft for the Declaration of Independence.
  • The first reverse design depicted an American bison, recalling the Buffalo nickel and designed by Jamie Franki.
  • The second reverse design shows the Pacific coastline and the words "Ocean in view! O! The Joy!", from a journal entry by William Clark, co-leader of the Expedition.

2006 - ongoing        
For 2006, the reverse of the Jefferson nickel reverted to the original design of the coin, albeit refreshened to show better detail of the Monticello image.  However, the image of Jefferson on the front of the coin changed again, and this was a first-time design for a US coin: Jefferson is facing forward from the coin instead of the heretofore traditional sideways portrait.

This page was developed by Herb Klug       Updated June 6, 2018       Contact me at