US Coins

Mint lacks Treasury secretary's permission for 2016 gold coins

The U.S. Mint is planning on striking 24-karat gold versions in 2016 of the Winged Liberty Head dime (mock-up images shown), Standing Liberty quarter dollar and Walking Liberty half dollar.

Images courtesy of U.S. Mint.

A statute exists that would permit the U.S. Mint to strike 24-karat gold centennial versions dated 2016 for the Winged Liberty Head dime, Standing Liberty quarter dollar and Walking Liberty half dollar, but Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has not yet granted permission and the decision is his.

Lateefah Simms, public affairs specialist in the Mint's Office of Corporate Communications, said via email June 22 that the Mint was still seeking authorization from Lew to produce the three coins in gold.

The Mint first announced in September 2014 the intention of producing 2016 anniversary gold coins, but only included the dime and half dollar in its announcement. The Standing Liberty quarter dollar was absent from that announcement.

Expanded details released in January 2015 described plans for possible gold 100th anniversary versions in 2016 of all three denominations, even though the bureau was still seeking Lew's approval for the products.

On June 17, the Mint released image mock-ups of the three coins in gold, showing the dime as a tenth-ounce coin, the quarter dollar as a quarter-ounce coin and the half dollar as a half-ounce coin.

Adam Stump, deputy director of the Mint's Office of Corporate Communications, said via email June 19 that production of the three coins in gold is permissible under Chapter 31 of the United States Code, Section 5112, (i)(4)(c), but requires Treasury secretary approval.

The section of the United States Code cited is the same code that Mint officials cited as legal authority to strike the Kennedy half dollar in .9999 fine gold in 2014 on the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half dollar.

Mint officials do not anticipate any obstacles in obtaining Lew's approval.

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