Coins - Thomas Jefferson Coin
and Currency Set
In 1994, the US Mint introduced its first ever coin and currency set by recognizing and honoring Thomas
Jefferson's contributions to America's coinage and currency system. The Thomas Jefferson Coin and Currency
Set included the Thomas Jefferson Commemorative Silver Dollar, a Thomas Jefferson five cent coin and a Thomas
Jefferson two dollar Federal Reserve Note for the currency.
In addition, the Mint included a six page booklet titled "Thomas Jefferson: Father of America's
Decimal Coinage System." The coin and currency set booklet provided the background and history of Thomas
Jefferson's vision of a simple monetary system and told of the challenges he faced and overcame to secure our
The outer package uses dark reds, blues and creams in a pattern reminiscent of paisley. A dark red leather-look
pattern borders the left and forms the background for the title of the set: The Thomas Jefferson Coinage and
The coin and currency set consists of the outer sleeve (top), the coin and currency holder
(middle) and a six page booklet (bottom).
The coin and currency holder deviates from the outer sleeve in its design. The multi-colored pattern
borders the left and a cream background highlights the title and emphasizes the portrait of Thomas
Opened, the coin and currency holder comments on Thomas Jefferson's contributions to our monetary system on
the left with the obverse views of the two Jefferson coins on the right.
The comments note that Thomas Jefferson, in 1784, introduced his detailed concept of a
decimal monetary system in his Notes on the Establishment of a Money Unit and of a Coinage for the
The dark red patterned background contrasts with the obverse views of the two coins.
Though the Thomas Jefferson Coin and Currency Set was distributed in 1994, the Commemorative Silver Dollar
includes the dates 1743, for the year of his birth, and 1993, the 250th anniversary of his birth.
The 1805 Medallion Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Gilbert Stuart was used as the model for the
commemorative silver dollar coin. Jefferson's family considered this particular portrait as the best likeness
In 1994 when this coin and currency set was released, the obverse design of the Jefferson Nickel was the second
oldest, second only to the Lincoln cent. This particular Jefferson Nickel is the first occurrence of the US
Mint's matte finish. Their process frosted the obverse and reverse dies with a combination of aluminum oxide
and silver dioxide sprayed using high pressure. The process achieves a lustrous finish on the
Opening the coin and currency set's holder further reveals the reverse of the two coins and
the obverse of the currency - the two dollar Federal Reserve Note.
Both the Thomas Jefferson 250th Anniversary Commemorative Silver Dollar coin and the Thomas Jefferson
nickel coin contain views of Monticello, Jefferson's home.
The version of Monticello on the silver dollar coin was based on an architectural drawing created by the
Historic American Buildings Survey.
The easily recognizable version of Monticello on the reverse of the Jefferson Nickel was not the original
proposed by Felix Schlag, the Mint's artist. His three-quarter view won the contest for the reverse of the new
Jefferson nickel to begin minting in 1938. But, the Commission of Fine Arts requested he change his design to be a
full frontal view of the historic building for the coin's reverse.
For the currency included in the Thomas Jefferson Coin and Currency Set, the US Mint enclosed an uncirculated
two dollar Federal Reserve Note from the 1976 Series. That particular two dollar currency series was
printed to recognize the bicentennial celebrations in 1976.
When in the closed position, the back of the coin and currency holder shows the reverse of the two dollar
currency. The back of the note is based on a mural in the US Capitol by John Trumbull portraying the signing
of the Declaration of Independence.
In their packaged sets, the US Mint certifies the contents' authenticity. Instead of including
separate documents, the Mint printed the certificates on the back of the outer sleeve.
On the left, as Director of the US Mint, Philip N. Diehl's signature authenticates the two coins, the
Thomas Jefferson 250th Anniversary Commemorative Silver Dollar coin and the Thomas Jefferson five
On the right, Peter H. Daly, Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, signed the
authorization for the Thomas Jefferson Two Dollar Federal Reserve Note currency.
In addition to the coins and currency, the package included a Thomas Jefferson Coin and Currency Set booklet with six
pages providing an historical perspective of Thomas Jefferson's contributions to our decimal coin and currency.