YEARS: 1792-1799 | 1800-1824 | 1825-1849 | 1850-1874 | 1875-1899 | 1900-1924 | 1925-1949 | 1950-1974 | 1975-1999 | 2000-
Slightly smaller than a modern dime and weighing half as much. Disme (pronounced, “deem”), is an early spelling of the word, dime.

Over the years, much has been speculated and much has been written, but little is known for sure. Many false and unsubstantiated claims have appeared in print about this coinage issue. Among such claims is one that suggests Martha Washington posed as “Miss Liberty” for the engraver. Another claim that remains unsupported is that the Washingtons provided their family table service for the coinage.

Both of these claims date back to 1860, when James Ross Snowden wrote: “The bust of Liberty is popularly supposed to represent the features of Martha Washington who is said to have sat for the artist while he was designing it … This piece is said to have been struck from the private plate of Washington, which is not unlikely, considering the great interest which he took in the operations of the infant mint, visiting it frequently, and personally superintending many of its affairs.”

With respect to the Martha Washington issue, Martin Logies, President of the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation has stated, “Many 19th century collectors referred to the coin’s design as the ‘Martha Washington half disme’ because the portrait resembled the President’s wife, however, the head’s side of the coin actually depicts a symbolic female representation of Liberty.”

Regarding the issues of the source of the silver used to coin the half disme, it is generally accepted that George Washington did, in fact, provide the silver for these pieces, however Numismatic researcher Karl Moulton disagrees.

Based on original letters and documents in the Library of Congress, Moulton contends that the silver used for the half dismes was supplied by the government, and not by Washington or Jefferson. His version of the history of this issue suggests that David Rittenhouse made arrangements for the purchase of silver for these coins. Further, the coins were struck in mid-July from dies prepared by Jacob Perkins, copied in part from the other 1792 dies by Robert Birch and Joseph Wright. (Some research suggests that the single pair of dies used for these coins was designed and engraved by a British medalist, William Russell Birch, rather than the Robert Birch who was associated with the Mint in those early years and previously credited with the coin’s design.) The die sinker was John Harper, and the planchet adjuster and coiner was Henry Voigt. Karl Moulton is preparing a history of the first Mint, to be published under the title “Henry Voigt and Others Involved with America’s Early Coinage”.

However, we do know that the little half dismes were the very first coins authorized by President Washington under the Mint Act of 1792. Thomas Jefferson, who was Secretary of State at the time, personally received the coins on behalf of Washington.

A number of different pattern coins were struck by the U.S. in 1792, but the half disme is the only one that was produced in large enough quantity to be considered a regular issue. Late in the year, President Washington referred to these coins in his November 6, 1792 National address.

The President stated: “In execution of authority given by the legislature, measures have been taken for engaging some artists from abroad to aid in the establishment of our Mint. Others have been employed at home. Provisions have been made for the requisite buildings, and these are now putting into proper condition for the purposes of the establishment. There has been a small beginning in the coinage of half dimes, the want of small coins in circulation calling the first attention to them.” The entirety of this final sentence clearly tells us that these coins were intended for circulation, especially the second part of this sentence.

The actual mintage is not known, although evidence points to 1,500 coins, and this seems appropriate, based on the number that are still in existence today, estimated between 200-400 pieces. We know that these coins were struck in July 1792, prior to completion of the actual Mint buildings, thus they were struck at another location. That location is generally believed to be John Harper’s cellar,at the corner of Cherry and 5th Streets, just a short distance from the Mint site.

A period painting by John Ward Dunsmore of New York portrays General and Mrs. Washington, Alexander Hamilton and wife, Thomas Jefferson, David Rittenhouse, Tobias Lear, Henry Voight and Adam Eckfeldt inspecting these first coins.

For over 200 years, these coins have been among the most prized numismatic items ever issued by the United States. Numismatic scholar Walter Breen wrote, ‘Their historic context has made these half dismes among the most prized American silver coins.’'; break; case ($year == 1793): $qty=1; $info='Ask anyone "What is a five-cent US coin called?", and more than likely, the reply you´ll get is "a Nickel". Of course, that´s the correct answer, but this hasn´t always been the case. Prior to the introduction of the first US nickel in 1866, the five-cent role was filled in the early years of the United States by a small silver coin called the "Half Dime".

In fact, the first United States coin minted under the Constitution in appreciable quantities was the 1792 Half Disme (the "s" in "Disme" was later dropped). This was only a pattern coin, but it was minted amid great fanfare, with President and Mrs. Washington on hand to inspect the first coins off the press. In all, 1500 of the 1792 Half Dismes were minted, many of which reached general circulation.

The first regular strike half dimes were dated 1794, meaning that no half dimes were minted in 1793.'; break; case ( ($year == 1794) || ($year == 1795) ): $qty=1; $info='The obverse of the 1794-1795 half dime style portrays Miss Liberty with flowing hair, facing right, with LIBERTY above and the date below. Eight stars are behind her head and seven are in front. The reverse illustrates a delicate or “small” eagle perched within an open wreath, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounding. Denticles are around the border, as on all half dimes from this design forward. Curiously, neither this half dime design nor the following two motifs bear a designation of denomination or value.

Of the two dates in the Flowing Hair half dime series, the 1795 is more often seen than the 1794. Specimens of either date are typically encountered in grades from Good through Fine to Very Fine. Extremely Fine examples are elusive, and AU coins are very rare. Uncirculated pieces are apt to be encountered only when great collections come on the market. Many pieces are found with a series of parallel lines or adjustment marks, produced at the Mint during the planchet preparation process. In keeping with other pieces of the era, the striking is apt to be inconsistent, and often one area or another will show some normal weakness.'; break; case ( ($year > 1795) && ($year < 1806) && ($year != 1798) && ($year != 1799) ): $qty=1; $info='The Draped Bust style is believed to have been the work of Robert Scot, who followed the proposal make by artist Gilbert Stuart. The obverse depicts Liberty with flowing hair, a ribbon behind her head, with drapery covering her plunging neckline. LIBERTY is above and the date is below. 1796 half dimes have eight stars to the left and seven to the right on the obverse, while those dated 1797 come in three variations, with a total of 13, 15 of 16 stars. The reverse features an open wreath enclosing a small eagle perched on a cloud, the eagle being smaller in size than that used in 1794-95, and with the cloud more pronounced and higher above the wreath bow. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds. Again, there is no indication of value or denomination.

All half dimes of this design type are scarce. Most often encountered are pieces in lower grades from About Good through Fine. Very Fine pieces are elusive, Extremely Fine coins are scarce and those in AU or better preservation are rare and seldom seen. In the 1960s, when James F. Ruddy was gathering photographs for his Photograde book, he found that examples of this half dime type were among the most difficult to locate. As is true of other early silver coins, pieces are apt to have mint caused adjustment marks and to be weakly struck in certain areas, particularly at the center of the eagle on the reverse.

The half dimes of the 1800-1805 years continued the Draped Bust obverse used earlier in 1796-1797, except the stars beginning in 1800 have been standardized to seven left and six right. The reverse is of the Heraldic Eagle style adopted from the Great Seal of the United States and used beginning in the preceding decade on certain other silver denominations. At the center is an eagle with a shield on its breast, holding in its beak a ribbon inscribed E PLURIBUS UNUM and grasping in its talon a bundle of arrows and an olive branch. Above the eagle is an arc of clouds under which is a group of stars. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds. No mark of denomination or value appears on the coin.

Half dimes of this era are scarce, with 1802 being a prime rarity. Most surviving examples of various 1800-1805 dates are seen in lower ranges of condition, from About Good to Very Good or so. Fine specimens are not easy to locate, Very Fine pieces are still more elusive, and Extremely Fine coins are rare. Strictly Uncirculated pieces are extremely rare. Those that do come on the market are apt to be dated 1800. Uncirculated specimens dated 1801, 1802, 1803 and 1805 are exceedingly rare or non-existent. (No pieces were coined in 1804.)

Nearly all known specimens exhibit a degree of light striking in one area or another, particularly on the high points of Liberty’s hair, among the obverse stars, and on the reverse among the stars above the eagle. Such striking characteristics are to be expected, and a numismatist seeking a perfectly struck, extremely sharp example in a high grade is apt to never encounter such a coin.'; break; case ( ($year == 1798) || ($year == 1799) ): $qty=1; $info='No half dime coins were minted in 1798 or 1799.

The primary 1796 half dime bears fifteen stars representing the then number of states in the union. In 1797, fifteen and sixteen star varieties were produced - the sixteenth star representing newly admitted Tennessee - as well as a thirteen star variety after the mint realized that it could not continue to add more stars as additional states joined the union. The reverse bears an open wreath surrounding a small eagle perched on a cloud. 54,757 half dimes of this design were minted.

Following a two year hiatus, namely 1798 and 1799, mintage of half dimes resumed in 1800. The obverse remained essentially the same as the prior version, but the reverse was revised substantially. The eagle on the reverse now had outstretched wings, heraldic style. This reverse design first appeared on gold quarter and half eagles and then dimes and dollars in the 1790s. Mintage of the series never surpassed 40,000, with none produced in 1804. No denomination or mintmark appears on the coins; all were minted in Philadelphia. '; break; case ( ($year > 1805) && ($year < 1829) ): $qty=1; $info='No US half dimes or nickels were produced between 1806 and 1828.

Production of half dimes stopped between 1806 and 1828, and resumed in 1829 based on a new design by Chief Engraver William Kneass, who is believed to have adapted an earlier John Reich design. All coins were minted at Philadelphia and display no mintmark. The high circulating mintage in the series was in 1835, when 2,760,000 were struck, and the low of 871,000 was in 1837. Both Capped Bust and Liberty Seated half dimes were minted in 1837.'; break; case ( ($year > 1828) && ($year < 1837) ): $qty=1; $info='Production of half dimes resumed in 1829 based on a new design by Chief Engraver William Kneass, who is believed to have adapted an earlier John Reich design. All coins were minted at Philadelphia and display no mintmark. The high circulating mintage in the series was in 1835, when 2,760,000 were struck, and the low of 871,000 was in 1837.'; break; case ($year == 1837): $qty=2; $info='Both Capped Bust and Liberty Seated half dimes were minted in 1837. A low of only 871,000 Capped Bust design were minted in 1837.

The new half dime design features Liberty seated on a rock and holding a shield and was first conceived in 1835 and used first on the silver dollar patterns of 1836. The series is divided into several subtypes. The first was struck at Philadelphia in 1837 and New Orleans in 1838 and lacks stars on the obverse. In 1838 a semicircle of 13 stars was added around the obverse border, and this basic design was used through 1859. In 1853, small arrows were added to each side of the date to reflect a reduction in weight due to rising silver prices, and the arrows remained in place through 1855. The arrows were dropped in 1856, with the earlier design resumed through 1859. In 1860, the obverse stars were replaced with the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the reverse wreath was enlarged. This design stayed in place through the end of the series. In 1978 a unique 1870-S Seated Liberty half dime became known. The Seated Liberty half dime was produced at the Philadelphia, San Francisco and New Orleans mints in an aggregate amount of 84,828,478 coins struck for circulation.'; break; case ( ($year > 1837) && ($year < 1866) && ($year != 1853) && ($year != 1854) && ($year != 1855) ): $qty=1; $info='These were the last silver half dimes produced. The design features Liberty seated on a rock and holding a shield and was first conceived in 1835 used first on the silver dollar patterns of 1836. The series is divided into several subtypes. The first was struck at Philadelphia in 1837 and New Orleans in 1838 and lacks stars on the obverse. In 1838 a semicircle of 13 stars was added around the obverse border, and this basic design was used through 1859. In 1853, small arrows were added to each side of the date to reflect a reduction in weight due to rising silver prices, and the arrows remained in place through 1855. The arrows were dropped in 1856, with the earlier design resumed through 1859. In 1860, the obverse stars were replaced with the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the reverse wreath was enlarged. This design stayed in place through the end of the series. In 1978 a unique 1870-S Seated Liberty half dime became known. The Seated Liberty half dime was produced at the Philadelphia, San Francisco and New Orleans mints in an aggregate amount of 84,828,478 coins struck for circulation.'; break; case ( ($year == 1853) || ($year == 1854) || ($year == 1855) ): $qty=2; $info='In 1853 the Liberty Seated design was modified by the addition of arrowheads to the left and right of the date to signify a decrease in the authorized weight from 20.625 grains to 19.200 grains. These arrows remained in place through 1855, after which they were discontinued, although the reduced weight remained in effect.

As earlier half dimes (as well as the other silver denominations) were being hoarded, the mint produced an unprecedented quantity of half dimes of the with-arrows style, with the figure for 1853 totaling 13,210,020 at the Philadelphia Mint whereas the highest mintage for any earlier half dime date since the inception of the denomination was 2,760,000, or less than a quarter of this figure, back in 1835.

The numismatist will have no difficulty in acquiring an example of this design in any desired grade from Good through AU. Uncirculated pieces are available, but gems can be a bit more elusive.'; break; case ( ($year > 1865) && ($year < 1874) ): $qty=2; $info='The Act of May 16, 1866 authorized a new five cent coin made of 25% nickel and 75% copper. This created the unusual situation where two coins of the same value circulated simultaneously (the other coin being the Half Dime). A massive quantity of nearly 15 million new "Nickels" was produced in the first year, partly to promote the new coin and partly because of the availability of nickel and copper compared to the higher cost of silver for Half Dimes. The first versions of the new Nickel included rays on the reverse, between the stars surrounding the large 5 at the center of the coin. These extra elements caused the coinage dies to fail early because of the extra pressure needed to strike the nickel alloy and to force the metal into the recesses of the dies. To correct this problem, mint officials ordered the removal of the rays in mid-1867, creating two varieties: With Rays and No Rays. Striking problems persisted, resulting in a series of coins noted for inconsistent strikes and lots of die cracks.

None of the dates in the Shield Nickel series is particularly rare, although the Proof-only 1877 and 1878 can be elusive and command a nice premium. The low mintage 1880 Nickel is always a favorite with collectors, no matter the grade.

Proofs of most dates are readily available, but the 1867 With Rays Proof is excessively rare. Oftentimes, discerning between prooflike circulation strikes and true proofs can be problematic, particularly with the dates in the late 1870s and those from the 1880s.

Interesting varieties include a widely repunched date in 1866, the Open and Close 3´s of 1873, 1879/1878, and 1883/1882.'; break; case ( ($year > 1873) && ($year < 1883) ): $qty=1; $info='The Act of May 16, 1866 authorized a new five cent coin made of 25% nickel and 75% copper. In 1874 the half dime was discontinued and the nickel became the only five cent coin.

The first versions of the Shield Nickel included rays on the reverse, between the stars surrounding the large 5 at the center of the coin. These extra elements caused the coinage dies to fail early because of the extra pressure needed to strike the nickel alloy and to force the metal into the recesses of the dies. To correct this problem, mint officials ordered the removal of the rays in mid-1867, creating two varieties: With Rays and No Rays. Striking problems persisted, resulting in a series of coins noted for inconsistent strikes and lots of die cracks.

None of the dates in the Shield Nickel series is particularly rare, although the Proof-only 1877 and 1878 can be elusive and command a nice premium. The low mintage 1880 Nickel is always a favorite with collectors, no matter the grade.

Proofs of most "Without Rays" dates are readily available. Oftentimes, discerning between prooflike circulation strikes and true proofs can be problematic, particularly with the dates in the late 1870s and those from the 1880s.'; break; case ($year == 1883): $qty=4; $info='Shield nickels were plagued by problems since their inception in 1866. Among the causes of these problems were:
A) The U.S. mint had little experience working with a new and very hard alloy (75% copper, 25% nickel).
B) The diameter of the coin is too small for its weight (modern nickels have a bigger diameter).
C) The U.S. mint was under pressure to produce a lot of coinage for the needs of commerce.

The first two points required the mint to use a much higher pressure in striking the shield nickel than was desirable. This meant that the dies wore out much quicker than usual. A typical shield nickel die would last for 10000-15000 coins. Contrast that with the dies for a Morgan dollar, which would last for hundreds of thousands of coins.

The first two points combined with the final point to put pressure on the mint to produce dies rapidly, and these dies were often produced very carelessly. The entire shield nickel series is riddled with mint errors such as doubled dies and repunched dates.

In 1883, the mint had some extra shield nickel dies left over from 1882. These leftover dies had the 1882 date impressed upon them. Rather than throwing these valuable dies away the mint ground off the 1882 date and repunched the dies with an 1883 date.

Because all of the rework was done by hand, no two of the reworked dies look exactly the same. The original 1882 date was not always removed completely, and different pieces of it were left behind on different dies. The new 1883 date was not always punched in exactly the same location relative to the original 1882 date. When pieces of the original 2 are still visible on an 1883 dated shield nickel, that is called an 1883/2 overdate variety.

A true 1883/2 shield nickel is a rarity. Many times a major coin show will not have even a single example.

Charles Barber’s Liberty Head five cent coin was first produced for circulation in 1883 after two years of development of various patterns for the proposed type, including an 1882 pattern virtually identical to the design actually released. The issued 1883 nickel did not have text indicating the denomination anywhere on the coin, but there was a dominant letter V on the reverse, part of a proposed plan to use Roman numerals on new one cent and three cent coins as well. Whether this plain symbology, minus descriptive text, was an actual blunder or a result of a not too unreasonable assumption that the size, color, and V would be a sufficient indicator of the denomination is unknown.

In 1883, the Liberty Nickel was introduced. The earliest versions were produced without the words “Five Cents” on the reverse. Enterprising individuals took advantage of this omission by gold-plating the coins, reeding the edges, and passing the coins off as some new $5 Half Eagle. The Mint quickly remedied the situation by adding “Five Cents” to the back of the coin later in 1883.

Therefore, 1883 had 3 different nickel designs in production, the Liberty Nickel with no Cents, the Liberty Nickel with Cents, and the Shield Nickel.'; break; case ( ($year > 1883) && ($year < 1913) ): $qty=1; $info='In 1883, the Liberty Nickel was introduced. The earliest versions were produced without the words “Five Cents” on the reverse. Enterprising individuals took advantage of this omission by gold-plating the coins, reeding the edges, and passing the coins off as some new $5 Half Eagle. The Mint quickly remedied the situation by adding “Five Cents” to the back of the coin later in 1883. Key dates in the “Liberty Nickel” series include the 1885, 1886, and 1912-S. A mere five 1913 Liberty Nickels are known, but these are believed to have been produced clandestinely at the Mint.'; break; case ( ($year == 1913) ): $qty=2; $info='In 1913 the Liberty Head nickel, which had remained in service since 1883 was replaced by a new design, the so-called Buffalo (more properly, the Indian) nickel by James E. Fraser, a well-known sculptor. The obverse portrait was modeled from life by studying three Indian models, while the reverse was styled from a bison, popularly called a “buffalo,” at the Bronx Zoo.

The obverse depicts the head of an Indian facing right, with LIBERTY in small letters at the upper right edge, and the date at the lower left. The reverse shows a bison standing on a raised mound, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and E PLURIBUS UNUM above, and FIVE CENTS on a mound below.

It was found that the relief of the mound caused the inscription in that area to wear quickly, so the bottom part of the reverse was subsequently redesigned, creating the so-called Type II. The Type I is distinguished by the presence of a mound with FIVE CENTS inscribed on it, as noted. Production of business strikes was accomplished at Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco, with Philadelphia registering by far the largest mintage. At Philadelphia, 1,250 Matte Proof examples were made for collectors.

Examples of the 1913 Type I Buffalo nickel are readily available in all grades from About Good to Uncirculated. Superb Uncirculated coins are scarce, although not rare. Matte Proofs have survived in relatively few numbers, and of the 1,250 minted, probably not more than a few hundred still exist. As certain business strikes closely resemble Matte Proofs, care is to be taken when buying one of these.

1913 is an interesting year since both the Liberty nickel and the Buffalo nickel were both minted in 1913, giving the population two different nickels in the same year.'; break; case ( ($year > 1913) && ($year < 1938) ): $qty=1; $info='The Buffalo nickel or Indian Head nickel was a copper-nickel five-cent piece struck by the United States Mint from 1913 to 1938. It was designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser.

As part of a drive to beautify the coinage, five denominations of US coins had received new designs between 1907 and 1909. In 1911, Taft administration officials decided to replace Charles E. Barber´s Liberty Head design for the nickel, and commissioned Fraser to do the work. They were impressed by Fraser´s designs showing a Native American and an American bison. The designs were approved in 1912, but were delayed several months because of objections from the Hobbs Manufacturing Company, which made mechanisms to detect slugs in nickel-operated machines. The company was not satisfied by changes made in the coin by Fraser, and in February 1913, Treasury Secretary Franklin MacVeagh decided to issue the coins despite the objections.

Despite attempts by the Mint to adjust the design, the coins proved to strike indistinctly, and to be subject to wear—the dates were easily worn away in circulation. In 1938, after the minimum 25-year period during which the design could not be replaced without congressional authorization had expired, it was replaced by the Jefferson nickel designed by Felix Schlag.

Don´t let forgers dupe you into buying a 1922, 1932, or 1933 US nickel. The mint did not produce any Buffalo nickels in 1922, 1932, or 1933, in fact, there were no 5 cent pieces minted in 1922, 1932, or 1933. Because of the Great Depression, demand for coins was very low in the early 1930s and the Mint simply didn´t need to make a lot. They skipped some years entirely.'; break; case ( ($year == 1938) ): $qty=2; $info='The Jefferson Nickel replaced the Buffalo Nickel mid-1938, therefore there were 2 nickels minted in 1938. The original Jefferson Nickel design ran from 1938 to 2003, although war-time "Nickels" of a special silver alloy are treated as a different type. 1964 was the last year that silver coins were produced for circulation in America.

All of the date/mintmark combinations in this series are common, although there are many strike- and condition-rarities. Strike-rarities are those with Full Steps; condition-rarities are those with exceptionally high grades. Many collectors focus on the separation of the steps leading up to Monticello as the standard for a fully struck coin. Thus, the premiums paid for Full Step Nickels are often substantial compared to softly struck examples. Some of the greatest Full Step rarities stem from the 1950s and 1960s, when quality control at the Mints seems to have been at its lowest. Condition-rarities arise from the hardness of the nickel alloys used on these coins and the general carelessness with which they were handled during the minting process.

The 1950-D Nickel garnered lots of publicity in the 1960s, when roll collecting was at its peak. While not a particularly rare, or even scarce, coin, the 1950-D attracted many collectors and speculators because it had the lowest mintage of the series. Even today, the 1950-D is remembered as the "toughest" date in the series, but there are many coins that are worth considerably more in high grades, with Full Steps, or a combination of the two.'; break; case ( ($year > 1938) && ($year < 1965) ): $qty=1; $info='The Jefferson nickel has been the five-cent coin struck by the United States Mint since 1938, when it replaced the Buffalo nickel.

First struck in 1913, the Buffalo nickel had long been difficult to coin, and after it completed the 25-year term during which it could only be replaced by Congress, the Mint moved quickly to replace it with a new design. The Mint conducted a design competition in early 1938, requiring that Jefferson be depicted on the obverse, and Jefferson´s house Monticello on the reverse. Schlag won the competition, but was required to submit an entirely new reverse and make other changes before the new piece went into production in October 1938.

As nickel was a strategic war material during World War II, nickels coined from 1942 to 1945 were struck in a copper-silver-manganese alloy which would not require adjustment to vending machines. They bear a large mint mark above the depiction of Monticello on the reverse.'; break; case ( ($year > 1964) && ($year < 2004) ): $qty=1; $info='Starting in 1965, silver was removed from America´s Dimes, Quarter Dollars, and Half Dollars. All of the date and mintmark combinations in this modern series of Jefferson nickels are common and readily available at affordable prices. Adding a few varieties raises the cost dramatically, thanks to rarities such as the 1971 No S Proof and the Special Uncirculated issues of 1994 and 1997. Other varieties, such as the mintmark variations of 1979, add additional texture to the series.'; break; case ( ($year > 2003) && ($year < 2006) ): $qty=2; $info='The famed Meriwether Lewis & William Clark expedition occurred during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. Therefore, it was deemed appropriate to celebrate the 200th anniversay of the expedition by creating special designs for the Jefferson Nickel. Four designs were created, as follows:

2004 Peace Medal - obverse using the traditional Thomas Jefferson design from 1938-2003; reverse featuring crossed peace pipe and tomahawk above clasped hands (copying the design seen on most of the Indian Peace medals issued by the U.S. government).

2004 Keel Boat - same obverse as preceding; reverse featuring the boat used by Lewis and Clark to navigate waterways in the beginning of their expedition.

2005 American Bison - new obverse showing an off-center profile of Jefferson facing right; reverse with an American bison reminiscent of the design on the "Buffalo" Nickel (1913-1938).

2005 Western Waters - same obverse as preceding; reverse with a view of the Pacific Ocean and the inscription "Ocean in view! Oh the joy! (from an entry in Clark\'s journal).'; break; case ( ($year > 2005) ): $qty=1; $info='On January 12, 2006, the United States Mint launched into circulation the new Jefferson nickel. The 2006 Jefferson nickel is the first circulating US coin to feature the likeness of a President facing forward. The Nation\'s coinage has shown only profiled views of presidents since the introduction of the Lincoln cent in 1909.

The Mint has named the new Jefferson nickel "Return to Monticello" because of the reappearance of Thomas Jefferson\'s dignified home to the reverse side of the coin for the first time since 2003. The latest Monticello has slight enhancements to the classic version minted 1938-2003.

The new Jefferson nickel is the final stage of the Mint\'s Westward Journey Nickel Series that celebrated the bicentennials of two major accomplishments of the Jefferson Administration.

"This nickel features a forward-looking President Jefferson who recognized that the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark expedition would expand our horizons in numerous ways" commented Acting Mint Director David Lebryk. "This is a hopeful, positive image, emblematic of a bright future for our Nation."

The new obverse image of Jefferson is based on a famous Rembrandt Peale portrait of the future president painted in 1800. The word "Liberty", in Jefferson\'s own handwriting, is inscribed above the date. There are no plans in the works for a future redesign of the coin, so the forward-looking Jefferson nickel is expected to fill cash registers for many years to come.'; break; } // End the switch statement echo '

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