About Cents, Nickels and Dimes

Jefferson nickels of the Westward Journey series

The nickel designs of 2004-2006 celebrate Lewis and Clark's westward journey across the vast territory of the Louisiana Purchase.

America's 1¢ coins have long been collector favorites, starting with the 1793-1857 Large Cents nearly the size and weight of a half dollar, and short-lived 1857-1858 Flying Eagles – the first small-size U.S. cents. Indian Head cents of 1859-1909 are widely considered America's most beautiful bronze coins, and revered Lincoln cents of 1909-date are the longest-running series in U.S. coinage history.

"Nickels", which replaced silver half dimes and are 75% copper and 25% nickel, commenced with 1886-1883 Shield nickels, followed by Liberty Head nickels of 1883-1913 and Buffalo nickels of 1913-1938. The Jefferson nickel series of 1938 to date featured special designs from 2004-2006 to commemorate the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and Jefferson nickels since 2006 display a new facing portrait of Thomas Jefferson.

Dimes have been issued by the U.S. Mint since 1796, and were struck in silver from 1796-1964. Older designs include the Draped Bust, Capped Bust, Liberty Seated and Barber motifs. Mercury dimes of 1916-1945 are considered the most beautiful small-size U.S. coins, and Roosevelt dimes of 1946 to date honor the only four-term U.S. president.