To celebrate its 225th anniversary, the U.S. Mint is releasing a commemorative coin depicting Lady Liberty as an African-American woman.
The 24-karat gold coin’s obverse side will host Lady Liberty in side profile adorned by a crown of stars, along with the phrase “In God We Trust” and the years “1792” (the year the Mint was founded) and “2017” on either side of her profile. The reverse side of the coin will feature an eagle in mid-flight with the inscriptions “United States of America” and “E Pluribus Unum,” as well as the coin’s face value, which is $100.
While details regarding the coin are currently sparse, the Mint did say that they will reveal more information before its April 6, 2017 release date. They did mention, however, that future coins will feature Lady Liberty as other ethnicities, such as Asian American, Hispanic American, Indian American and others.
As for details pertinent to the discerning coin collector, the coins will be made with .9999 fine 24-karat gold at the West Point Mint and will weigh one ounce each. As is custom with the Mint’s merchandise, the coin will come in a wood presentation case, an anniversary booklet and a certificate of authenticity.
A Mint spokesman noted that the gold coins will be sold for roughly $1,500, a price based on metal costs. White added that the Mint will sell silver versions of the coin for a more affordable price of $40 to $50, both of which will be available for purchase on the Mint’s website on April 6.
The new coin comes on the heels of Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew’s announcement that civil rights activist and woman of color Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill in 2020. As it currently stands, there is only one other coin in circulation that features a person of color: the Sacagawea dollar. Needless to say, the U.S. Mint’s decision to feature diversity in their commemorative and highly regarded coin collective is not only intensely warranted, but long overdue.