Excitement Builds for 2015 American Liberty Coin Program
In January the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee reviewed designs for the American Liberty High Relief gold coin and silver medal and sent recommendations to the Secretary of the Treasury. The program’s main intent is to depict Lady Liberty in a modern way that showcases the country’s diversity, and to stimulate artistic development through an ongoing series of silver medals with designs that are emblematic of the American experience.
Initial reactions from collectors to the recommended obverse design were rather mixed, and many Coin World readers said they would prefer a more traditional or classical representation of Liberty. A lot of collectors said at the time that they planned to skip this offering.
On the other hand, the flying eagle design on the reverse has been applauded since it was first considered last year as a replacement for the current obverse design of the American Eagle silver coin.
The plan is to mint the 24-karat, High Relief gold coin on a half dollar-sized planchet as a business strike or Mint State coin, while the silver medal will be minted in Proof on a 40.6 millimeter planchet like those used for American Eagle silver coins but with a higher relief than that coin.
The Mint recently added images of the gold coin to its product schedule for the year on the Mint’s web site. Once they saw how the coin looked after the design was sculpted by the Mint’s artists Phoebe Hemphill and Don Everhart, reactions have shifted dramatically, and there is now a lot of excitement about the coin.
Many people are now saying it is the best design from the Mint in years.
Outgoing CCAC Chairman Gary Marks said on his Facebook page: “I am proud of this coin and medal program because I feel it carries the most beautiful designs produced by the U.S. Mint in many years. More important to me, though, is that it so boldly asserts the message of LIBERTY. If the silver medal proves popular with collectors there is a good chance the Mint will begin issuing large-sized Liberty-themed silver proof medals with changing designs every year. Realization of that possibility would be a HUGE advance for American medallic art.”
At this point it remains unclear when the coin and medal will be released. There has been a lot of speculation that this set would be released during the August ANA World Fair of Money in Rosemont, Illinois, but no announcement have been made so far, apart from an erroneous reference that it would be released in July. The Mint clarified that no release date has been determined.
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