By CoinWeek News Staff ….
On Thursday, January 12, the United States Mint officially unveiled the designs of a 2017 High Relief gold coin that will be released in conjunction with the Mint’s 225th Anniversary celebration. The United States Mint was established in 1792 by an Act of Congress and has since provided the country with coins in gold, silver, copper, and other alloys for circulation, investment, and collecting purposes.
The new design is significant in that it depicts an African-American figure as the representation of Liberty on the obverse. Hettie Anderson, an African-American woman, stood as the model for Augustus Saint-Gaudens double eagle gold coin design of 1907, but that fact is not widely known.
The new design, which features a youthful female figure with braided hair and a diadem of large stars (similar to the one worn by Thomas Crawford’s Statue of Freedom, which surmounts the U.S. Capitol dome) was chosen in 2016 by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). CoinWeek published black and white renderings of the designs on March 18, 2016. The selected designs were identified by the committees as HR-O-08-C and HR-R-01-C.
Since that time, the initials of the artists and engravers have been added to the designs. We reported after the United States Mint’s hobby stakeholder forum on October 17, 2016, that the obverse design was the work of United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) designer Justin Kunz and U.S. Mint medallic sculptor Phebe Hemphill (View Designer’s Profile). We can now credit fellow AIP designer Chris Costello and U.S. Mint medallic sculptor Michael Gaudioso (View Designer’s Profile) with the reverse design.
After a short delay, the United States Mint unveiled the design at a ceremony at the Treasury Department’s cash room. The event was live streamed over the web on a special 225th Anniversary website set up by the United States Mint. The Mint sent out invitations for stakeholders to attend the ceremony in December.
The tentative release date of the new gold coin is slated for Spring 2017.
Video courtesy United States Mint
American Liberty High Relief Gold Coins Currently Available on eBay