US Coins

Mint debuts five 2017 American Liberty silver medals

This article comes from our April 24 weeklyissue of Coin World. Want to get all of our content, including special magazine exclusives?  Subscribe today !

The U.S. Mint’s four production facilities will be striking five 2017 American Liberty silver medals, not four as originally believed, with four different finishes represented.

The Philadelphia Mint will be striking two medals — one to be offered as a single Proof medal sometime in June, and the second as a Reverse Proof medal in a four-medal set also to contain medals struck at the San Francisco, West Point, and Denver Mints.

The three other medals available only in set are a 2017-S medal that also has a standard Proof finish, a 2017-W medal exhibiting an Enhanced Uncirculated finish, and a  2017-D medal  with an Uncirculated finish.

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Details on the number of single 2017 medals from the Philadelphia Mint and number of four-medal sets to be offered, along with pricing, are not yet announced by U.S. Mint officials.

The four-medal set is to be offered sometime later in 2017.

Examples of four of the five 2017 medals were exhibited by the U.S. Mint March 30 to April 2 at the Whitman Baltimore Expo.

Mint officials did not provide any advance notice that the medals were to be on public display at the bureau’s booth on the show’s bourse floor at the Baltimore Convention Center. There was no news release issued from the Mint and Whitman officials were also not notified of the medal exhibit.

“It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise,” said Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker.

U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White confirmed that the individual Philadelphia Mint medal and the San Francisco Mint medal will both bear a standard Proof finish.

The U.S. Mint provided to Coin World images for the standard Proof 2017-P American Liberty silver medal, but as of April 6, images were not available of the Reverse Proof Philadelphia medal, nor of the medals from the West Point, Denver or San Francisco Mints.

The 1-ounce .999 fine silver medals have the same obverse and reverse designs that appear on the Proof 1792-2017-W American Liberty 225th Anniversary gold $100 coin, which went on sale April 6.

The Proof version displays frosted devices against mirrored fields. The Reverse Proof finish displays mirrored devices against frosted fields. The Uncirculated pieces are struck on planchets that are burnished by being tumbled with steel media in a cleaning and brightening solution and then dried before striking. For the Enhanced Uncirculated version, the burnished planchets are struck with dies having specific design elements subjected to varying intensities of laser frosting and polishing techniques.

U.S. Mint officials have not yet disclosed when the four silver medals will go on sale or at what price, nor maximum mintages and household ordering limits, if any.

CCAC recommends American Liberty designsThe long path from design sketches to available coin: The two federal panels that review coinage and medal designs both recommended the African-American Liberty portrait in March 2016.

When the Mint offered two American Liberty silver medals in 2016 bearing the same designs as the 2015-W American Liberty gold $100 coin, the 12,500 examples each of the Proof 2016-S and Proof 2016-W medals sold out within six minutes of their release. The 2016 silver medals were offered at $34.95 each by the U.S. Mint.

The original vision for the silver medals called for high relief, but the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee recommendation for a larger palette for the silver medal required changing the relief specifications, according to the Mint.

The 40.6-millimeter American Liberty 1-ounce silver medals are struck on the same kind of blanks as are used for the American Eagle silver dollar. 

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