US Coins

Standing Liberty Centennial gold quarter viewed

Collectors attending the Central States Numismatic Society Convention April 27 to 30 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Illinois had the opportunity to preview an example of the 2016-W Standing Liberty gold quarter dollar at the U.S. Mint booth on the show bourse.

The display permitted observation of only the coin’s obverse. The coin’s obverse and reverse designs replicate those that sculptor Hermon A. MacNeil rendered for the .900 fine silver quarter dollars introduced in 1916, replacing the Barber coin designs.

The obverse design for the 2016 100th anniversary gold coin is MacNeil’s original Bare Breast design. The design was modified in 1917 with the Mailed Breast subtype to show Liberty prepared to defend the nation against its enemies as America entered the war against Germany. On both versions, Liberty is depicted holding a shield in her left hand and an olive branch in her right as she steps through an opening in the wall bearing 13 five-pointed stars.

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The W Mint mark of the West Point Mint, where the 2016-W gold quarter dollars are being produced, is positioned to the right of the bottom star, at the viewer’s left. This is the location where Mint marks would appear on Standing Liberty silver quarter dollars issued from 1916 to 1930 except for those struck at the Philadelphia Mint, which used no Mint mark during this time period. Mint marks appeared on silver strikes from the Denver and San Francisco Mints.

If the reverse design holds true to MacNeil’s adopted design from 1916, 13 five-pointed stars will be positioned around the eagle, seven on the left and six on the right. When the obverse design was changed in 1917, the stars on the reverse were rearranged, with five stars to the left and five to the right of the eagle, and three stars below the eagle, and the eagle was repositioned.

2016 specifications

The 2016-W Standing Liberty gold quarter dollar will be struck on planchets composed of a quarter-ounce (7.776 grams) of .9999 fine gold. The weight and fineness are recorded on the coin’s obverse, in two lines on the framed panel in the right field below WE TRVST, as AU 24K in the top line and 1/4 OZ. below.

The coin will exhibit a circulation strike finish and bear a reeded edge.

The gold coin’s diameter is 0.866 inch, or 22 millimeters, and it is 0.064 inch or 1.63 millimeters thick. The diameter is the same as that of a quarter-ounce gold American Eagle. The American Eagle quarter-ounce gold coin, however, is .9167 fine gold (made of an alloy of 91.67 percent gold, 5.33 percent copper and 3 percent silver).

In comparison, the original  Standing Liberty quarter dollars, which are composed of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper, are 0.96 inch or 24.26 millimeters in diameter, with a gross weight of 0.20 ounce or 6.25 grams. The weight in pure silver is 0.18 ounce or 5.63 grams.

The U.S. Mint has not yet disclosed when the bureau plans to offer the 2016-W gold quarter dollar, how many will be made available and at what price, and if there will be household ordering restrictions. 

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