Schlag’s victory continued a policy that Theodore Roosevelt had initiated in 1907 when he asked Augustus St. Gaudens to redesign American coinage. St. Gaudens work was ultimately limited to the $10 and $20 gold coins, but it set the trend. From 1907 until 1938, outside artists created all of the new designs for regular issue coins. That string would not be broken until Mint Director, Nellie Tayloe Ross, pushed hard to give John Sinnock the opportunity to design the Roosevelt Dime in 1945-6. One aspect of Schlag’s success was different. In the past, only one or a small number of artists had been asked to submit designs. In 1907, 1908 and 1909, only one artist was asked submit his proposal (St. Gaudens, Bela Pratt and Victor D. Brenner respectively). In 1916, three artist submitted proposals. Adolph Weinman designed two of the coins, and Herman MacNeil designed the third. In 1921, Anthony de Francisci was asked to design the Peace Dollar. Schlag was unique because he entered a competition. Recently, engraver, Ron Landis, issued 100 sets of the Jefferson Nickel with original Felix Schlag design. Landis first issued coins like this in the early 2000s for the Full Step Jefferson Nickel Club. All of the contestants where required to depict Thomas Jefferson on the obverse of the coin and his home, Monticello, on the reverse. Schlag’s design featured a traditional view of the third president and a modernistic side view of Monticello. The Fine Arts Commission, which had a great deal of influence over U.S. coin designs, rejected Schlag’s view of Monticello and required him use traditional Roman lettering instead of the modern print he had used on his original design. The final design for the Jefferson Nickel featured front view of Monticello. I am not a big Jefferson Nickel collector. This example of the 1942 War Nickel in Proof is the best early Jefferson Nickel that I have have. Schlag had art client commitments which prevented him from working on the project. This probably explains why the Denver Mint issued 7 million 1938-D Buffalo Nickels. In June, Schlag sat down with Chief Mint Engraver, John Sinnock, and completed the design work on the Jefferson Nickel. The obverse rework resulted in minor changes to the fount of the lettering. The reverse was radically changed with an entirely different view of Monticello. It depicted the front of the building with all of the trees and shrubbery removed. I have never been a fan of the traditional reverse of the Jefferson Nickel. Critics have likened the reverse of the Lincoln Memorial Cent to a trolly car, and my opinion of the Monticello on the reverse of the nickel is the same. I think that an artist is in trouble when you have put the name, “MONTICELLO” below the building to make sure people can identify it. In recent years, various other reverse designs have appeared on the Jefferson Nickel, and most of them have been improvements. The final obverse design, left, beside Schlag's original proposal. Changes were made to the lettering and Jefferson's jaw and coat. The final reverse design (left) beside Schlag's original proposal. In this case the changes were extensive.