More Faces of Thomas Jefferson

Certainly people’s features change through the  years as they age and gain or lose weight. But, in the case of Thomas Jefferson, we have many portraits and portrayals of him not only on coins but through our historical artifacts as well.

A while back we showed several different numismatic views of Jefferson. Let’s look at a few more.

While working on adding information about Coin and Currency Sets to our web site, more portraits of President Jefferson were found in numismatic resources.

With his efforts for a decimal coinage system, Jefferson also strongly advocated “a national mint on American soil.”  Perhaps it is fitting that his likeness as President was the first to be minted at our relatively new, at that time, national mint. But, instead of being on a coin, his likeness was minted on the Jefferson Peace Medals that were distributed by Lewis and Clark to the chiefs of Indian tribes during their adventure exploring and mapping the newly purchased Louisiana territory.

A replica of the Jefferson Peace Medal was included in the Lewis and Clark Coin and Currency Set released by the US Mint in 2004 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Lewis and Clark’s legendary 8000+ mile expedition into the uncharted territory.

Replica - Jefferson Peace Medal 

But, once again, Jefferson’s likeness introduces another slightly different view of the man. Though, the peace medal’s portrait is somewhat similar to Felix Schlag’s portrait of Jefferson on the Jefferson nickel from 1938 through 2004. 

2004 Westward Journey nickel obverse 

They appear similar yet different.

For another view into President Jefferson, the booklet titled “The Louisiana Purchase” included a different view of our third President:

President Jefferson

In looking at the various visages, one can observe some common characteristics. But, at the same time, the artists capturing the gentleman’s likeness certainly portrayed him in many different ways across the years.

Regardless of his many likenesses, he played a significant and important role in our history. Take a look at both the Jefferson Coin and Currency Set and its accompanying booklet and the Lewis and Clark Coin and Currency Set with its two booklets – The Expedition and The Lousiana Purchase.

For a gentleman who did not like public speaking and perhaps did not like the limelight, President Jefferson certainly impacted the early development of our country in many ways. The many numismatic views of Jefferson help bring his contributions to our history alive.