Felix Schlag

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Jefferson Nickel Obverse

Felix Oscar Schlag (September 4, 1891 – March 9, 1974) was the designer of the United States five cent coin in use from 1938 to 2004.[1]

He was born to Karl and Teresa Schlag in Frankfurt, Germany, and moved to the United States in 1929. As a young man, Schlag served in the German army of World War I.

On April 21, 1938, Schlag's design for the Jefferson nickel was selected by Nellie Tayloe Ross, Director of the United States Mint. Schlag won $1,000 for his winning design of the coin; he had been an award-winning artist in Europe. His prize money was spent on his wife's funeral. In the 1930s, Felix won several sculptural commissions and art prizes.

Schlag accepted the offer of the American government to place his initials, FS, on the nickel beginning in 1966.

The designer relocated to Owosso, Michigan, where he died and is buried. He and his wife Anna, whom he married in 1920, had three children: Feliza (1920), Leo (1921), and Hilda (1929). A memorial was placed by the Michigan State Numismatic Society on September 14, 2008.

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