US Coins

Gold design bucks trend for American Liberty coin

The 2021-W American Liberty, High Relief, $100 gold coin will be offered by the U.S. Mint beginning Aug. 19.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint.

The approved obverse design for the 2021-W American Liberty gold $100 coin to be introduced for sale Aug. 19 through the U.S. Mint is a sharp deviation from past issues’ depictions of liberty.

All previous issues depicted a woman as an allegory of American liberty.

The 2021 coin’s obverse design, a bucking horse, is by Minnesota-based professional artist and illustrator Beth Zaiken, a U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program designer. Zaiken’s design was digitally sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Craig A. Campbell.

The U.S. Mint describes the design as “a wild American Mustang horse, bucking off a western style saddle, evoking the throwing off of the yoke of British rule during the American Revolution.”

“The Mustang horse is presented both as native to this land, yet simultaneously an immigrant to the nation as we know it today,” according to the design description. “The ancestor to all true horses alive today evolved here in North America. Those horses inexplicably disappeared at the end of the last Ice Age, only to be accidentally re-introduced in their domesticated form by the Spanish in the 1500s, having earlier reached Eurasia by way of the Bering land bridge.”

The approved reverse was sculpted by United States  Mint Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill.

The reverse features a bust right of an American eagle with its beak open.

The American Liberty gold coin designs are struck in high relief, and are also usually used on a .999 fine silver medal without coin inscriptions. In 2019, Mint officials said that the 2021 gold coin would have an Enhanced Uncirculated finish.

The U.S. Mint has not yet confirmed if a silver medal will also be produced featuring these designs, and if so, when it will be available. It is not yet posted on the Mint’s 2021 product schedule.

All previous American Liberty issues allegorically depicted Liberty as a woman: a standing figure bearing a torch and American flag on the 2015 issue; a portrait of a Black woman on the 2017 and 2018 issues; and a radiant portrait on the 2019 coin and medal.

No 2020 American Liberty coin or medal was issued.

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