Ocean in view nickel, 2005
The Lewis and Clark expedition was a two year journey(1804-1806) which was the first overland expedition to the Pacific Coast and back. It was led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and was assisted by the Shoshone woman Sacagaewa and her French-Canadian explorer husband, Touissant Charbonneau. The expedition helped to assess accurately the resources being exchanged in the Louisiana purchase and laid much of the groundwork for the Westward expansion.
Achievements of the expedition:
1)Better knowledge of the Geography of the region with about 140 maps being made
2)Better understanding of the flora and fauna
3)Improvement of relations with Indians.
The obverse of this coin shows a modernized depiction of Thomas Jefferson, and the reverse shows a depiction of the Pacific Ocean as seen by William Clark in 1805. Clark had written in his diary: "Ocian in view! O! The joy!", but the mint thought that this spelling of ocean would be perceived to be an error and would cause lot of hoarding. So the spelling was changed from ocian to ocean..
Monticello/Jefferson nickel, 2008
From 2006 onwards, the nickel shows a forward facing Jefferson, based on the 1800 Rembrandt Peale painting of Jefferson. The reverse feaatures the Monticello, Jefferson's Virginia estate. This is the first circulation coin in the US featuring a forward facing former president.
The Jefferson nickel has been in circulation in USA for the longest period of time(1939-2003). It features the bust of Thomas Jefferson(taken from Houdon's marble bust of 1789) on the obverse, and his Virginia estate Monticello on the reverse.