The current nickel features President Thomas Jefferson. His portrait has been on the obverse side of the nickel for many years. Jefferson first appeared on the five-cent coin in 1938 when the Jefferson nickel debuted.
Thomas Jefferson was the 3rd president of the United States. Born in 1743, he was one of the founding fathers of the United States. Jefferson served as president from 1804-1809. He is best known for being the main author of the Declaration of Independence.
Before the Jefferson nickel there were other series such as the Shield nickel, Liberty Head V nickel, and the Buffalo nickel. The Buffalo nickel features an image of a Native American man.
Before the nickel there were "half dimes" which included series such as the Flowing Hair half dime, Draped Bust half dime, Capped Bust half dime, and the Seated Liberty half dime. These early coins feature Lady Liberty on the obverse side of the coins. The Lady Liberty image represents freedom.