Three Cent Nickel — Reverse Side

1875 Three Cent Nickel

  • The denomination of the coin is represented by a large “III” (the Roman numeral representing the number three). Each “I” in the Roman numeral has parallel score marks running from the top cross-piece of the letter to the bottom, giving it the look of an ancient column from Greek and Roman architecture.
  • The “III” is bordered by a very elaborate wreath. The two open ends of the wreath almost touch at the top center of the coin, just above the middle “I.” (Longacre was famous for his engravings of hair and wreaths.)

Buffalo Nickel — Reverse Side

1937 Buffalo Nickel

  • The buffalo on the reverse side of the Buffalo Nickel is a male North American bison.
  • James Earle Fraser, the designer of the Buffalo Nickel, always said that the model for his buffalo was Black Diamond, a huge bison from the Bronx Zoo. However, this story is questionable because Black Diamond never lived at the Bronx Zoo (he was from the Central Park Zoo) and because the buffalo depicted on the coin does not look much like Black Diamond.

Peace Dollar — Reverse Side

1922 Peace Dollar

  • The highlight of the reverse side of the coin is an American eagle clutching an olive branch (to symbolize peace). Originally the eagle was perching on a broken sword, but the sword proved to be very controversial and was removed from the final design.
  • “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and the motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” stretch across the top of the eagle.

Morgan Silver Dollar — Reverse Side

1878 Morgan Silver Dollar

  • The bird on the reverse side of the coin is an American eagle with outstretched wings. In one talon it holds an olive branch, in the other talon it holds arrows, symbolizing that the United States is a peaceful nation but will defend itself if necessary.
  • The motto (in English) “In God We Trust” is printed above the eagle’s head. Above that are the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
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