US Coins

First look: 2017 American Liberty gold coin

The 2017 American Liberty gold $100 coin will be promoted by the U.S. Mint as part of its celebration marking the bureau’s 225th anniversary.

During the closed administration portion of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee Sept. 16 meeting, members were provided information on the 225th anniversary coin currently being developed by the Mint and were also shown a test strike of the coin, U.S. Mint spokeswoman Sharon McPike confirmed to Coin World Sept. 19.

“However, given that this was during the portion of the meeting not open to the public, it would not be appropriate to share any of the information or images of the test strike at this time,” McPike said. “The coin seen in the administrative meeting is a research strike.  Manufacturing is still proving out the technology required to execute this coin in high relief and with raised edge lettering.”

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Coin World was able to obtain a copy of a promotional flyer that illustrates the adopted obverse for the high relief 1-ounce .9999 fine gold coin and a portion of the raised edge lettering design. The adopted obverse, which has not been officially announced by the U.S. Mint, is the design recommended in March 2016 by both the CCAC and the Commission of Fine Arts, dual-dated 1792 and 2017.

The design depicts Liberty as an African-American woman, facing left, wearing a crown of stars as an homage to the Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol dome.

Reaction to the design: 

A bold recommendation for American Liberty
African American Liberty portrait recommendation draws criticism

Both design review panels also recommended the same eagle-in-flight design for the reverse of the gold $100 coin. The Mint’s promotional flyer does not illustrate an approved reverse, and U.S. Mint officials declined to provide an illustration or disclose the design at this time. It is not known whether the reverse design recommended by both advisory panels is the design adopted for the coin.

Based on the promotional flyer illustrations for the gold coin, the obverse bears the designers’ initials for U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program designer Justin Kunz and U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill, who sculptured Kunz’s design.

What is visible from the edge illustration is ? 225th ANNIVERSARY ? apparently from one of three edge segments that form the collar die. Stars also appear to flank whatever text is to appear on the remaining two edge segments of which only a tantalizing but unreadable bit is visible in the flyer illustration.

According to the promotional flyer, the U.S. Mint plans a year-long initiative to educate the public about the Mint and to engage new customers.

“Throughout the year, we will host a number of outreach specific events, to include a one-day Numismatic Forum (which will be focused on reinvigorating the numismatic hobby), a First Strike Media Day (where we will unveil the 225th Anniversary American Liberty 24K High Relief Gold Coin) and a bureau-wide celebration on April 2, 2017, the official 225th anniversary of the United States Mint,” according to the Mint.

The Bureau of the Mint was congressionally established on April 2, 1792.

After the U.S. Mint’s 200th anniversary in 1992, the Mint issued a bronze Bicentennial medal in 1993.

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