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WASHINGTON-Newly redesigned nickels will be arriving at credit unions and other financial institutions nationwide very soon. On March 1, the U.S. Mint began distributing the first of the new nickels to the Federal Reserve Banks. These coins, the first of the Westward Journey Nickel Series, feature the Jefferson Peace Medal on the tails side. The nickels were altered to commemorate the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark’s expedition. Lewis and Clark gave out the peace medals as symbols of goodwill to Native Americans they met along their journey. The heads side will retain the likeness of President Thomas Jefferson. This is the first redesign of the nickel in 66 years. Another new nickel in the series will be released later this year. The Westward Journey Nickel Series is slated for completion in 2006, at which time the design on the back will return to Monticello.

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