April 13th marks 272 years since the birth of Thomas Jefferson. Since then Jefferson has become an almost mythical figure. His contributions to U.S. history keep his memory alive today. Specifically, Jefferson lives on in the coins and currency that honor him. Here are three enduring pieces of U.S. currency honoring the third U.S. President.
Since 1938, Thomas Jefferson has been on the obverse of the U.S. nickel. On the reverse of the nickel, you can see Jefferson’s famous Virginia estate, known as Monticello. In 2006, the portrait on the nickel changed slightly, but Jefferson remained. The nickel is by far the most common — and famous — of all the currency featuring Thomas Jefferson.
The $2 Bill
Thomas Jefferson and the $2 bill have been linked for over a century. Starting in 1869, the $2 bill featured Thomas Jefferson. In 1886, the design changed. Resuming in 1928, the obverse design featured a portrait of Jefferson yet again. Starting the same year, the reverse side design incorporated a portrait of Monticello. Next, in 1976 for the bicentennial, a new reverse design was released; it featured our forefathers signing the Constitution, Jefferson among them. Though the design has changed since then, Jefferson’s portrait has remained constant.
The $1 Presidential Coin
The $1 Presidential Coin Program began in 2007 with George Washington. The coins are released in chronological order. Since Thomas Jefferson was the third president, the Thomas Jefferson $1 Presidential Coin was the third coin to be released in the series, in August of the same year as the George Washington coin. The coin features a portrait of Jefferson on the obverse side, and the Statue of Liberty on the reverse.
From his presidency to his advocating for the adoption of the Bill of Rights, Jefferson’s political contributions are still felt today. So, on Monday, take a moment to remember a man who changed U.S. history forever.
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