Obverse. Photo © NumisCorner.com
  • 5 Cents 2005, KM# 369, United States of America (USA), Westward Journey, Ocean in View!
  • 5 Cents 2005, KM# 369, United States of America (USA), Westward Journey, Ocean in View!

In commemoration of the bicentennials of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Jefferson 5-cent coin (nickel) was modyfied to reflect images evocative of the historic expedition into the Louisiana Territory.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross what is now the western portion of the United States, departing in May 1804, from near St. Louis making their way westward through the continental divide to the Pacific coast.

The expedition was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, consisting of a select group of U.S. Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend, Second Lieutenant William Clark. Their perilous journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806. The primary objective was to explore and map the newly acquired territory, find a practical route across the Western half of the continent, and establish an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it.

The campaign's secondary objectives were scientific and economic: to study the area's plants, animal life, and geography, and establish trade with local Native American tribes. With maps, sketches, and journals in hand, the expedition returned to St. Louis to report their findings to Jefferson.


Jefferson's portret based on the marble bust of Jefferson by the French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon, completed in 1789. The design was made age-appropriate to his presidency by utilizing later paintings by Gilbert Stuart and Rembrandt Peale. The word "Liberty" appears in script on the obverse above the date, and the legend "IN GOD WE TRUST" appears along the outer edge on the right side. The word "Liberty" was taken from Jefferson's handwritten draft for the Declaration of Independence, though to achieve a capital L, Joe Fitzgerald had to obtain one from other documents written by Jefferson. The new obverse image of President Jefferson replaces the image of President Jefferson that had been on the nickel since 1938.

Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). During his first term as President, Thomas Jefferson virtually doubled the size of the United States when his Administration successfully completed the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and commissioned the Lewis & Clark Expedition to explore the new territory.

Designer: Joe Fitzgerald (JF)
Engraver: Don Everhart (DE)

JF DE 2005


A scene of the Pacific Ocean with pine trees (the goal that the Lewis and Clark Expedition reached after more than a year of hard travel) and an inscription reflecting an excited entry in the journal of Captain William Clark on November 7, 1805: : "Ocean in view! O! The joy!", which was written by William Clark into his journal ("ocean" was actually spelled "ocian" in his journal, but the US Mint used more modern spelling in this case). A design based on a photograph by Andrew E. Cier of Astoria, Oregon, of the western waters as they might have been first viewed by the Corps of Discovery.

E Pluribus Unum — Latin for "Out of many, one" — is a phrase on the Seal of the United States. Never codified by law, E Pluribus Unum was considered a de facto motto of the United States until 1956 when the United States Congress passed an act (H. J. Resolution 396), adopting "In God We Trust" as the official motto.

Designer: Joe Fitzgerald (JF)
Engraver: Donna Weaver (DW)

in view!
O! The joy!


5 Cents

Jefferson Nickel
KM# 369 Schön# 369
Type Commemorative Issue (Circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 5 g
Diameter 21.21 mm
Thickness 1.95 mm
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Denver Mint (D)
Philadelphia Mint (P)
San Francisco Mint (S)

Related coins

Jefferson Nickel, Louisiana Purchase, Peace Medal

Westward Journey

Cupronickel, 5 g, ⌀ 21.21 mm
Jefferson Nickel, Keelboat

Westward Journey

Cupronickel, 5 g, ⌀ 21.21 mm
Jefferson Nickel, American Bison

Westward Journey

Cupronickel, 5 g, ⌀ 21.21 mm