2015-W American Liberty, High Relief gold coin to be 1-ounce, $100 face value issue

Designs chosen are those recommended by Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, Commission of Fine Arts
By , Coin World
Published : 06/23/15
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The 2015-W American Liberty, High Relief gold coin to be issued by the U.S. Mint will be a 1-ounce .9999 fine gold piece that will carry a face value of $100, becoming the United States' first gold coin to bear that denomination.

The first U.S. coin to carry the $100 denomination is the American Eagle 1-ounce platinum coin introduced in 1997.

Images of an example of the High Relief gold coin were posted June 23, with no advance notice, on the Mint's website. No program details, coin specifications, finish, mintage limits or pricing accompanied the posting.

Mint officials had previously announced the coin would contain 0.75 ounce of pure gold and bear a $75 face value. Mint officials have not yet released details about why the weight and face value change was made.

The $100 face value was advocated by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee in January. The CCAC had supported the idea of calling the coin a "union," the name established for a $100 coin that the Mint developed in the 1870s but has never issued.

The American Liberty gold coin's adopted designs, also recommended by the Commission of Fine Arts, will also appear on a High Relief .999 fine silver medal having no coin inscriptions, to be offered at a later date than the High Relief gold $100 coin.

The American Liberty, High Relief gold $100 coin's obverse was designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Justin Kunz and sculptured by U.S. Mint Medallic Sculptor Phebe Hemphill. It features a robed Liberty with a torch held upright in her right hand and an American flag on staff in her left.

The reverse was designed by AIP artist Paul C. Balin and sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor Engraver Donald Everhart II. The eagle in flight, reminiscent of the eagle reverse of the original Gobrecht silver dollars of the 1830s, was originally submitted for, but not adopted for, the reverse of the 2015-W U.S. Marshals 225th Anniversary gold $5 half eagle.

Balin's eagle design was resurrected and proposed by Gary Marks, who will complete his second four-year term on the CCAC in October. Marks had originally proposed using Balin's eagle design to replace John Mercanti's Heraldic Eagle design for the reverse of the American Eagle silver dollar. Mercanti's design has occupied the American Eagle silver bullion coin's reverse since its introduction in November 1986.

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