Westward Journey Nickel Series
In commemoration of the bicentennials of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition, the President enacted Public Law 108-15 to modify the Jefferson five-cent coin (nickel) to reflect images evocative of the historic expedition into the Louisiana Territory.
The United States Mint began the Westward Journey Nickel Series in 2004 with the release of the “Peace Medal” and “Keelboat” nickels. In 2005, a new likeness of Thomas Jefferson appeared on the obverse with two new designs on the reverse: the American bison, representative of the wildlife encountered by the Lewis and Clark expedition; and a scene of the Pacific Ocean, which depicts the expedition’s exultation on believing they had finally reached the Pacific Ocean after many months of travel. Depictions of Monticello and Jefferson returned to the nickel in 2006.