Who is on the U.S. nickel?

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. president.

jefferson nickel

5-cent nickel coin featuring President Thomas Jefferson. Designer: Felix Schlag

Thomas Jefferson was one of the leading political figures of the early United States. He is probably known best for being the primary writer of the Declaration of Independence. His image has appeared on the 5-cent coin since 1938, with portraits from different angles used in 2005 and 2006.

Jefferson nickel reverse designs:

  • Monticello, Jefferson’s self-built mansion in Virginia (since 1938)
  • Westward Journey series (2004–2006)


  • Nickels were made from a 35% silver alloy from 1942–1945 in order to save copper and nickel for the war effort.
  • Until 1873, the U.S. Mint also made silver half dimes with a five-cent face value.
  • From 1865–1889, the mint also made a nickel 3-cent coin denomination called a "trime."

Find more information about who is on each U.S. coin by following the links below:

Who Is On the Penny?

Who is On the Dime?

Who Is On the Quarter?

Who Is On the Half Dollar?

Who Is On the Dollar Coin?

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Everett Millman

Everett Millman

Managing Editor | Analyst, Commodities and Finance

Everett has been the head content writer and market analyst at Gainesville Coins since 2013. He has a background in History and is deeply interested in how gold and silver have historically fit into the financial system.

In addition to blogging, Everett's work has been featured in Reuters, CNN Business, Bloomberg Radio, TD Ameritrade Network, CoinWeek, and has been referenced by the Washington Post.