By Office of Corporate Communications
January 25, 2017
Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Sarah Bloom Raskin and United States Mint Principal Deputy Director Rhett Jeppson unveiled designs for the 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin earlier this month, sparking a national conversation. More than 14,000 people watched the Jan. 12 ceremony via livestream from the historic Cash Room. News coverage of the new coin’s design reached more than half a billion people over the first week, and the conversation on social media reached an all-time high for the Mint.
The coin’s unveiling, which was hosted by U.S. Mint Chief of Staff Elisa Basnight, kicks off a year-long series of events in celebration of the Mint’s 225th anniversary.
“We are very proud of the fact that the United States Mint is rooted in the Constitution,” said Jeppson. “Our Founding Fathers realized the critical need for our fledgling nation to have a respected monetary system, and over the last 225 years, the Mint has never failed in its mission.”
The 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin design is unique in that it portrays Liberty as an African-American woman, a departure from previous classic designs. The obverse (heads) design depicts a profile of Liberty wearing a crown of stars. The reverse (tails) design depicts a bold and powerful eagle in flight, with eyes toward opportunity and a determination to attain it.
The obverse was designed by Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designer Justin Kunz and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. The reverse was designed by AIP Designer Chris Costello and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.
“From the very beginning, our nation’s currency and coinage was telling a very important story about who we were and the shared experience we were seeking,” remarked Lew during the ceremony. “Of course, the United States continued to struggle with achieving liberty for all. For the last 225 years, the Mint has been doing its part to close that gap, and remind us of the principles and values that bind us through our currency and coinage.”
The 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin is the first in a series of 24-karat gold coins that will feature designs which depict an allegorical Liberty in a variety of contemporary forms–including designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Indian-Americans–to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States. These 24-karat gold coins will be issued biennially. A corresponding series of medals struck in .999 silver, with the same designs featured on the gold coins, will also be available.
The 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin will be struck in .9999 fine 24-karat gold at the West Point Mint in high relief, with a proof finish. The one-ounce coin will be encapsulated and placed in a custom designed, black wood presentation case. A 225th anniversary booklet with Certificate of Authenticity will accompany each coin.
The Mint will announce additional information about the 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin prior to its release on April 6.
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