US Coins

2016 Winged Liberty Head dime, Walking Liberty half may go gold

The United States Mint is considering .9999 fine gold versions of the Winged Liberty Head dime and Walking Liberty half dollar to mark the centennial anniversary of both coins in 2016.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Editor's note: The following items were included in Paul Gilkes's In the News article from Coin World's October monthly issue.

Pure gold versions of artist/sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s Winged Liberty Head dime and Walking Liberty half dollar are being considered for production by the U.S. Mint in 2016 to mark the two silver coins’ centennial anniversary.

Currently absent from consideration in .9999 fine gold is the Standing Liberty quarter dollar, which also marks its centennial in 2016.

U.S. Mint officials are also considering various 2015-dated numismatic products incorporating the 2015-W March of Dimes commemorative silver dollar, and a 2015-W Ultra High Relief gold $20 coin and a silver medal with shared designs.

The Winged Liberty Head and Roosevelt dime options, plus the gold Walking Liberty half dollar, were discussed in a survey conducted Aug. 28 among a random selection of several hundred U.S. Mint customers. A second, separate survey on Sept. 9 gauged interest among several hundred different U.S. Mint customers in an Ultra High Relief $20 gold coin and companion silver medal.

2015 product considerations

New product options being evaluated for the 2015 calendar year include March of Dimes silver dollar set options with and without special versions of the 2015 Roosevelt dime. Final designs for the silver dollar have not yet been publicly released. Designs recommended independently by the Commission of Fine Arts and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee incorporate representations of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and renditions of the dime.

2015 products under consideration are:

  • Two-coin set containing a Proof 2015-W March of Dimes 90 percent silver dollar and a Proof 2015-W Roosevelt 90 percent silver dime, with informational booklet on March of Dimes, its history, and FDR’s own struggle with polio, estimated price of $60.
  • Two-coin set, Proof 2015-W March of Dimes silver dollar, Reverse Proof 2015-P Roosevelt silver dime, booklet, $60.
  • Three-coin set, Proof 2015-W March of Dimes silver dollar, Reverse Proof 2015-P Roosevelt silver dime, Proof 2015-W Roosevelt silver dime, booklet, $65.
  • Single-coin set, Proof 2015-W March of Dimes silver dollar, with booklet, $55.

The U.S. Mint is also contemplating production in 2015 of an Ultra High Relief gold $20 coin similar to that issued in 2009, albeit with different obverse and reverse designs still to be determined. The same designs would also appear on a silver medal.

The gold $20 coin would be double the thickness of a $10 eagle, as it was for the 2009 Ultra High Relief $20 coin, 27 millimeters in diameter, and contain 1 ounce of pure gold.

The finish for the gold coin was indicated just as “Ultra High Relief Finish.” No finish type was disclosed for the silver medal.

The concept of an Ultra High Relief gold coin and silver medal is championed by the CCAC.

As envisioned, the Ultra High Relief obverse would reflect a modernized rendition of Walking Liberty on the obverse with a completely new eagle for the reverse.

The coin would be struck at the West Point Mint and bear the W Mint mark.

Price of the Ultra High Relief coin would be approximately $1,725 at current gold prices. A 1.3125-inch, .999 fine silver medal would cost approximately $50.

The price for a two-piece coin and medal set would be approximately $1,775.

2016 gold and silver

Questions posed in the surveys addressed a number of potential product and packaging options, with approximate pricing projections based on current precious metals and production costs.

The product options being evaluated for 2016 are:

  • Single .9999 fine gold 2016 Winged Liberty Head dime (finish not specified nor Mint of production, but likely West Point with W Mint mark). Coin would be 17.91 millimeters in diameter and contain a tenth-ounce of gold, and cost approximately $200.
  • Single .9999 fine gold 2016 Walking Liberty half dollar, 30.61 millimeters, 0.75 ounce of gold, $1,275.

Weinman’s Winged Liberty Head dime obverse had been mandated for use on a palladium bullion coin as proposed under provisions of the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010, Public Law 111-103.

A palladium bullion coin has never materialized, however, since a congressionally authorized marketing study determined such a coin would be unprofitable.

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