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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