By CoinWeek News Staff ….
According to the U.S. Mint’s online product schedule, the 2016 Walking Liberty Centennial Gold Coin will be available for order at noon Eastern Time on November 17. Maximum mintage and household order limits are yet to be announced.
The Walking Liberty gold centennial, minted at West Point, honors sculptor and medallist Adolph A. Weinman’s iconic Liberty Walking design, found on the original Walking Liberty half dollar (1916-1947) and later on the obverse of the American Silver Eagle (1986-present). Obverse inscriptions include LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, the year 2016 and the “W” mint mark. The reverse features the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, the denomination HALF DOLLAR and the precious metal indicators–AU (gold), 24K, and 1/2 OZ–as mandated by law.
The diameter of the coins is 27 mm, and the thickness is measured at 2.2 mm.
The Walking Liberty 100th Anniversary gold coin is the last of three centennial gold coins issued this year.
The first issue, the 2016 Mercury Dime Centennial gold coin, honors the 100th anniversary of the first Mercury dimes, minted in 1916. The dime’s original design (also by Weinman) serves as the new coin’s inspiration. Contemporary additions to the design include the West Point (“W”) mintmark and the AU/gold markings listed as AU 24K 1/10 OZ. under the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. Both features are found on the reverse.
The gold Mercury dime measures close to the same width as a regular Mercury dime (16.5 millimeters compared to the original’s 17.9) even though it contains one-tenth an ounce of gold – a symbolic nod to the dime’s 10-cent denomination.
With a maximum mintage of 125,000 and a household order limit of 10, the coin was released April 21 and became “Unavailable” on the Mint’s website within an hour. As of September 18, sales for the 2016 Mercury gold coin total 116,096. It is still listed as Unavailable.
The second issue, the 2016 Standing Liberty Quarter Centennial gold coin, commemorates sculptor Hermon A. MacNeil’s original design depicting Lady Liberty standing within a gate or the opening to a wall or enclosure. Much like the Mercury dime centennial, the 2016 Standing Liberty is an adaptation of MacNeil’s design; differences include the “W” mint mark and inscriptions for the metal, purity and weight (1/4 OZ).
The Standing Liberty gold coin went on sale September 8. Customers ordered 47,884 pieces on the first day of availability, but sales were perhaps slowed by the higher retail price and household order limit of one. When the Mint lifted the order limit on September 21, orders predictably picked up, with 79,367 units sold as of the most recent sales figures published on October 2.
This leaves less than 25% (20,633) of the 100,000 maximum mintage of Standing Liberty Centennial gold coins still available for purchase.