The Westward Journey Nickel Series (2004-2006) commemorated the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase and the journey of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore that vast territory.
2004: The Louisiana Purchase/Peace Medal reverse, by Mint sculptor Norman E. Nemeth, was adapted from the reverse of certain of the original Indain Peace Medals commissioned for the expedition. These medals bore a portrait of President Thomas Jefferson on one side, and symbols of peace and friendship on the other. They were presedent to Native American chief and other important leaders as tokens of the goodwill of the United States. The Keelboat reverse, by Mint sculptor Al Maletsky, depicts the boat that trasported the Lewis and Clark expedition and their supplies through the rivers of the Louidiana Territory. Built to Captain Lewis's specifications, this 55-foot craft could be sailed, rowed, poled like a raft, or towed from the riverbank.
2005: The new portrait of President Jefferson on the 2005 obserse, was inspired by a 1789 marble bust by Jean-Antonie Houdon; the inscription "Liberty" was based on Jefferson's handwriting. Joe Fitzgerald designed the new obserse, which was rendered by Mint sculptor Don Everhart. The American Bison reverse, designed by Jamie Franki and produced by Norman E. Nemeth, features a bison in profile. Described in journals from the expedition, these large animals held great significance for many American Indian cultures. (The design also recalls the popular Indian Head / Buffalo nickel design of 1913-1938.) The "Ocean in View" reverse, designed by Joe Fitzgerald and produced by Mint sculptor Donna Weaver, depicts cliffs over the Pacific Ocean and an inscription inspired by a November 7, 1805, entry in Clark's journal: "Ocean in view! O! The joy!"
2006: The "Monticello" design shows a facing portrait of Jefferson, designed by Jamie Franki and sculpted by Donna Weaver. This new obverse and the traditional depiction of Monticello are used on this and the traditional depiction of Monticello are used on this and subsequent nickels.
The Mint also produced Westward Journey Nickel Series Coin Sets for 2004 through 2006.