In 2003, the United States Congress signed an act that would allow the five-cent coin's design to be changed for the next two years. This was done in order to commemorate the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase (when the U.S. bought over 800,000 square miles of land from France in 1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (the first American trek to cross the western United States, which began in 1804).
To celebrate the bicentennial of both of these events, the U.S. nickel design was changed as follows: for 2004, Jefferson remained on the obverse with the same design that had been there since 1938. Two different reverses were struck -- one showed two clasped hands below a tomahawk and peace pipe. This is an homage to the 'Indian Peace Medal' that was distributed to chiefs and warriors during the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
The second reverse of 2004 shows a keelboat similar to one used during this same expedition.
In 2005, the nickel design was again changed as follows: the obverse was revamped with a different, right-facing image of Jefferson. Two more reverses were issued for this year -- one with an American bison, and the other shows an image of the Pacific Ocean with a quote from Clark's journal upon reaching the ocean in 1805: 'Ocean in view! O! The joy!'
In 2006, the U.S. nickel design was changed again. Jefferson remained on the obverse and Monticello (Jefferson's home) was on the reverse. However, the obverse design was a new front-facing Jefferson. Monticello was once again placed on the reverse as before, with a few minor refinements. These designs that were instituted in 2006 remain on the Jefferson nickel today.
These coins are interesting to look at, but they were minted in very high numbers and are not especially valuable. Here are some approximate catalog values for each of these coins:
Worn: face value
Average circulated: face value
Well preserved: face value
Fully uncirculated: less than $1 (U.S. dollars)
Please note that all values on this page are approximate catalog values. Be sure you understand how catalog values work. They are inflated values that are normally higher than actual buy and sell values. Refer to our Terminology page for a complete description of catalog values.