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New Lady Liberty Coin Announced

February 7, 2017 0 Comments


For the 225th anniversary of the US Mint, something very special is happening. The mint has just announced that on April 6, 2017 a $100 gold coin will be released that is a first in the history of minted coins in America. This new coin will feature the head of Lady Liberty as an African-American. The new coin has a profile of Liberty on the obverse (‘heads’) side, showing her with wearing a crown of large stars – four can be seen in the profile – and with her hair in braids pulled back into a bun. Above her head is the word, “LIBERTY” and the head is flanked on either side by the dates1792 and 2017.The words, “IN GOD WE TRUST” appear below the head. This design was created by Justin Kunz, a designer in the Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP). It was sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, a Mint Sculptor-Engraver.

The reverse side shows an American eagle in flight, looking, in the words of the mint, “Toward opportunity and a determination to attain it.” The words, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” and, “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” appear above the eagle and the denomination “100 DOLLARS” below it. On one side the words “1OZ. .9999 FINE GOLD,” indicate the content of the coin. Chris Costello, another AIP designer, designed the eagle reverse, and it was sculpted by Michael Gaudioso, a Mint Sculptor-Engraver.

This coin is the first in a new series of $100 gold coins that will be released every two years and that will feature Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Indian-Americans among others. These coins reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States. Each one is encapsulated to preserve the finish and displayed in a custom designed, black wood presentation case.  A Certificate of Authenticity and a booklet on the Mint’s 225th anniversary is included with each coin.

The coin contains 1 ounce of 99.99% pure gold and a parallel series in 99.99% pure silver will also be released. The US Mint was founded by Congressional order in 1792, following the War of Independence, and it is the only manufacturer of legal tender coinage permitted in the country. The Mint also produces numerous proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins, as well as Congressional Gold Medals and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.  

This major departure from tradition will surely become an important and valuable collector’s item, both for its unique appearance and as a commemoration of the Mint’s history. As the first in the series it will also have a special, enduring meaning. The recognition of the mixed ethnic nature of modern America, and particularly of the contribution African-Americans have made to the strength of the nation, is sure to be greeted with pleasure by all the citizens of a country that was built on diversity.

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