Commemorative nickels

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Centered under “FIVE CENTS” on the reverse. Philadelphia Mint specimens lack mint mark. The Buffalo nickel or Indian Head nickel is a copper-nickel five-cent piece that was struck by the United States Commemorative nickels from 1913 to 1938.

As part of a drive to beautify the coinage, five denominations of US coins had received new designs between 1907 and 1909. In 1911, Taft administration officials decided to replace Charles E. Despite attempts by the Mint to adjust the design, the coins proved to strike indistinctly, and to be subject to wear—the dates were easily worn away in circulation. In 1938, after the expiration of the minimum 25-year period during which the design could not be replaced without congressional authorization, it was replaced by the Jefferson nickel, designed by Felix Schlag. In 1883, the Liberty Head nickel was issued, featuring designs by Mint Engraver Charles E.

President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904 expressed his dissatisfaction with the artistic state of the American coinage, and hoped to hire sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to redesign all the coins. Andrew was dissatisfied with the just-issued Lincoln cent, and considered seeking congressional authorization to replace the cent with a design by sculptor James Earle Fraser. A letter to him by his son may have been the genesis of the Buffalo nickel. A little matter that seems to have been overlooked by all of you is the opportunity to beautify the design of the nickel or five cent piece during your administration, and it seems to me that it would be a permanent souvenir of a most attractive sort.

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