US Mint 2016 Centennial Gold Coin Mock-Ups

by Mike Unser on June 19, 2015 · 45 comments

On Wednesday, June 17, the United States Mint unveiled mock-up images of 24-karat gold coins to commemorate the centennial designs of the 1916 Mercury dime, 1916 Standing Liberty quarter, and 1916 Walking Liberty half-dollar.

2016 Centennial 24k Gold Coin Mock-Ups

2016 Centennial 24k Gold Coin Mock-Ups

The 1916-dated coins have a 90% silver composition. In 2016, the Mint is planning on issuing versions bearing the same 100-year old designs but struck to weights of 1/10 oz. gold for the dime, 1/4 oz. gold for the quarter, and 1/2 oz. gold for the half-dollar. Another goal of the Mint is to match each gold coin to the size and diameter of their companion silver coin from 1916.

2016 24k Gold Mercury Dime Mock-up

2016 24k Gold Mercury Dime mock-up featuring sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s original designs of the Winged Liberty Head obverse and reverse of Roman fasces and an olive branch

Looking for comments and suggestions, the U.S. Mint on Wednesday presented mock-ups of the centennial gold coins to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). A major area of discussion in an earlier CCAC meeting was the how’s and where’s of denoting an anniversary coin’s fineness and weight without crowding everything. Coins of yesteryear didn’t need such inscriptions, making for fuller designs and less clutter. The how’s and where’s are now answered, based on examining the mock-ups. They have inscriptions of:

  • AU 24K 1/10 OZ. on the 2016 Mercury dime,
  • AU 24K 1/4 OZ. on the 2016 Standing Liberty quarter, and
  • AU 24K 1/2 OZ. on the 2016 Walking Liberty half-dollar.

Their current presentation on the images is for illustration purposes only, the Mint notes, with the finalized inscriptions to feature fonts tweaked to the style of those handcrafted on the original 1916 coins. There was also some mention of excluding the period after each ‘OZ’ to improve the overall balance. For those without an electrical or chemistry background, ‘Au’ is the elemental symbol for gold. The abbreviated method seems better suited to the limited space available, especially on the dime.

2016 24k Gold Standing Liberty Quarter Mock-up

2016 24k Gold Standing Liberty Quarter mock-up featuring sculptor Hermon A. MacNeil’s original bare-breasted obverse and eagle reverse

It sounds like the 100th anniversary products will be restricted to 24-karat gold. Silver issues would require a change in the law. Some CCAC members voiced support for platinum versions, but that suggestion doesn’t seem to be sticking. And with a strong emphasis on replicating the original 1916 designs as intended by sculptors Adolph A. Weinman and Hermon A. MacNeil, it appears that the U.S. Mint is leaning heavily toward business strikes only, meaning no proof or uncirculated versions.

2016 24k Gold Walking Liberty Half-Dollar Mock-up

2016 24k Gold Walking Liberty Half-Dollar mock-up featuring sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s original designs of the Liberty obverse and bald eagle reverse

Other than their location, mint marks on the images have little meaning at this point. The Mint hasn’t declared where the centennial coins will be made or how many facilities will make them. In recent years, gold coins have been produced at the U.S. Mint in West Point.

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Jp June 19, 2015 at 5:50 am

This should be an interesting set. Hopefully 50,000 sets max with household limits of no more than 3.

R.F.K. June 19, 2015 at 5:56 am

Originally made of silver. Why gold only. Make them more affordable and do some in silver.

David June 19, 2015 at 6:00 am

I agree with RFK, it would be nice to see a silver version.

Richard June 19, 2015 at 7:11 am

Too bad only gold–they look great but will be spendy. A year ago I wrote the mint suggesting silver versions, high relief proof, maybe double dated (1916-2016). A boxed set would be very sharp looking. Got a nice non-committal note back. Guess they probably were already planning this issue.

RonnieBGood June 19, 2015 at 9:57 am

A rare occurrence with US Mint news.
I smiled. 🙂

RonnieBGood June 19, 2015 at 10:04 am

What the Mint is trying to do here is to create true collectables (at last).
And they will succeed with both the collector and the after market as long as the mintages for this set are kept at 50,000 or fewer and the max household limit is set at 5.

Eddie June 19, 2015 at 11:12 am

I have an idea… make them affordable and unique at same time!
Have a silver set, but make it Reverse proof, all of them.
This comment is specially for you, Ronnie.
Seriously though…any comments?

Boz June 19, 2015 at 1:02 pm

reverse proof curved and every 10th coin to be produced with an error, such as rotating the reverse 180 degrees. now THERE would be a highly sought after item.

offer them first day at the PAgo Pago coin club convention and see how many will be killed in the stampede

Joe June 19, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Save up,really like the 24k quarter.

Gene June 19, 2015 at 3:37 pm

I responded to a US Mint survey on potential new products that is investigation Platinum versions

Mark June 19, 2015 at 5:04 pm

I too wish they would mint a set in Silver. This makes it affordable for the masses.

Tinto June 20, 2015 at 11:44 am

If the Mint goes with business strikes, I hope they reduce or eliminate the premiums …

Jack June 20, 2015 at 3:42 pm

If you do the math, at .85 ounces the purchase price for this set should be $1319.95. This of course if gold stays flat until the coins are offered. A little “salty” for the average joe collector. A silver set would be awesome!!!!

Happy collecting

RonnieBGood June 20, 2015 at 5:41 pm

Eddie,
Just for you, a gold & platinum version studded with diamonds.
Seriously, I do agree that a silver and/or a silver reverse proof version would be a good affordable option, but again “limit the mintage”. Forget the 750,000 clad coins that are norm for most issues. My fear is that the hobby is being damaged by the high mintage limits that have no chance of ever being met (i.e. a sellout).

RonnieBGood June 20, 2015 at 5:48 pm

Jack,
I am sure that these will be offered individually.
The 1/10th, 1/4th and 1/2 ounce at least gives some options of affordability.
And we know that these classic designs will sell out if the mintages are not too high! Save up!

RonnieBGood June 20, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Per the article, the law would have to be changed in order to get options other than Gold. Oh well, I’m happy with the decision.
Cheers.

profitter June 20, 2015 at 8:12 pm

Gold will trade around $1950-$2450 on 2016
Will people still able to buy it? The answer is yes
If everyone remember Panama exposition gold coin, US mint sell for ???,The face Value is $ 50 !

yovany June 21, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Wait I’m confused, will they be offered individually or will all 3 be offered together in a set?

Navy Davy June 21, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Since these gold coins are to be the same diameter and weight as the originals, namely 1/10, 1/4, and 1/2 ounce, and gold is 1.84 times the density of silver,
they will all be really, really thin coins. They will FEEL light in the handling. Like the Ducats. How odd.
How about making them the same diameter and thickness? Let the weight fall where it may. They’d be heavy in the hand and feel weighty and worthy. Especially the half dollar. Thin coins of 24K soft gold would bend easily.

Jack June 21, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Sooooo, if offered individually, the Mercury would be $158, the Standing Liberty would be $395 and the Walking Liberty would be $790 at current gold levels give or take a couple dollars.

Gene June 21, 2015 at 10:59 pm

Since the USMint has a survey in progress showing Platinum mock-ups of these same coins perhaps the current lower price of Platinum is weighing on their deliberations.

Kahoola June 22, 2015 at 3:26 am

Thin coins would also mean that there would not be too much metal to flow into the high points of the design when being struck. These might be a bear to make and the quality of the strike would be a problem.

R.F.K. June 22, 2015 at 6:20 am

Navy Davy, no mention that the “weight” will be kept the same. Only the
size and diameter”…

Tinto June 22, 2015 at 10:47 am

@yovany

I don’t know about the Mint selling them in sets but I did get a survey and it mentioned that they are thinking of offering a special presentation case made to hold all three coins which can be purchased separately for about $20 – $40. But as far as I remember from the survey, the Mint is thinking of selling the coins individually with one month or so of interval between each sale

TheCurseOfTheRodainTrilogy June 23, 2015 at 10:45 pm

By the favor of God the mintage limit will be 50,000 for each coin, which will actually generate a sellout and create actual value for these coins, sparing us the disaster of the ridiculously high mintages of the Kennedy coins which were a failure from a collecting standpoint (in other words, the standpoint where you expect what you buy to go up in value… who buys products hoping they stay flat in value or go down?).

To keep coin collecting alive there must be value, if people want mercury dimes and standing liberty patterns etc they can buy the old silver ones, but for actual collector value again these will be 50,000 limits each, again atoning for the Kennedy coins disasters.

Vachon June 24, 2015 at 6:29 am

While I disagree with the whole idea of this set, why not put the gold purity information along the edge of the coin so as not to interfere with the designs? There’s no need for the edges to be reeded.

Navy Davy June 24, 2015 at 11:43 am

Vachon, good idea, put the required new nomenclature on the edge of the coins. Cool.
Maybe even WITHIN the reeded edges. Reeded edges are that way to reduce scraping edgers to collect gold dust. Was a common practice until reeded edges.
Although, the way I’ve seen the coins lately is OK too. Pretty well done. And it shows on photos and quickly identifies and shows on black and white printed images.

gary July 4, 2015 at 12:54 pm

they should be three one ounce silver coins in a set

Dee August 12, 2015 at 9:15 am

Please no silver, that way they will be rare and more of a luxury.

gary August 12, 2015 at 11:25 am

they would be way more popular in silver

Grant September 22, 2015 at 8:37 pm

Better idea………make the mintage limited to 25000. The mint has to stop producing high mintages of junk. 99% of modern mint items will never appreciate. How about starting a subscription program of limited mintage recreated 19th century coins? Recreate each coin type that was made during this period in original metals.

3D October 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Question: Why is the new Gold Walker only 1/2 oz instead of 3/4 oz like the Kennedy Gold Half? Then maybe the Gold Quarter would be ..375 oz and the new Gold Mercury .15. oz. And don’t bother noting the gold content just like they did with the Kennedy.. Double date could be on the edge etc. And by the way – should we also expect a fractional gold eagle set as well?

Barry October 30, 2015 at 10:14 am

Customers that is on the U.S. Mint subscription program, be given first choice to buy The Gold Bullion Coins from the U.S,. Mint, before they, select a day far sale direct to the public.

Aru February 22, 2016 at 1:26 am

So will these be sold as individuals? Really love the slq, and I am a sucker for mercs…not really into the walker and my id have to rethink my budget if we added that half oz

James Curry March 9, 2016 at 5:23 am

It would be great if POTUS could speed up the minting process so these coins could be given out in sets to all of the illegal immigrants coming across the southern border. That way, they could have a piece of Americana in their pockets and then maybe they would begin to respect our country.

Dwight March 20, 2016 at 6:55 am

As it turns out for the 2016-W Gold Winged Liberty Dime to be released on Thursday April 21, 2016 @ 12:00 PM EDT, its diameter will be 16.5 mm, its thickness will be 1.19 mm and its weight will be 1/10 troy oz. These are the same specifications as the 2008-W Buffalo gold $5 coin. By comparison the original 1916 Mercury Dime had a diameter of 17.9 mm, thickness of 1.35 mm and a weight of 2.5 grams of 90% silver.

Barry March 20, 2016 at 9:41 pm

I hope the gold liberty dime not shipped or sold in a box the size of a shotgun shell box, like they did the 5 Dollar gold Buffalo. Problem putting in some safe deposit boxes.

Guest Guest March 21, 2016 at 9:24 am

Dwight – I saw the dime will be 17.9mm diameter as the originals, not your 16.5mm, where did you get your numbers from?
I sure hope the size is same as original Mercury dimes.
Wait, maybe smaller is better. Thicker. Thicker is better.
Because the thinner gold ones would bend oh so easily.

Mike April 7, 2016 at 4:25 pm

Ordered my 2016 American Uncirculated gold coin today and asked them about the 2016 mercury dime she says she thinks they will sell out with in five minutes after they go on sale,

Jdee April 11, 2016 at 6:25 am

Dime mintage at 125,000. My guess is quarter at 100,000 and half at 75,000.
As for price. Since it is only a business strike. Not a proof nor uncirculated. I would say. Dime should be price at $25.00 over bullion. Based on $1,250.00 per ounce. Dime price at $150.00 each.

Don Ross April 16, 2016 at 12:40 pm

I was budgeting 5-10 of each until I saw they were commercial strikes. That is the only way to make them in gold, yet have them more boring than the originals. The originals were shiny when new, but gold commercial strikes are dull.
Now I’m budgeting 0-1 of each.

Jerry Evans April 23, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Unless the collector is retired and/or unemployed, he/she must sit by their computer at the appointed magical hour the mint selects and hope for no power failures or computer crashes. For us with “day jobs”, that is impossible. It is ridiculous the mint sets a “household limit” of ten coins, knowing television barkers have everybody and their brother buying ten at the time which creates an instant sellout. Today I purchased a PCGS SP70 First Strike for around four hundred bucks. I do not buy coins to resell. As a collector of fifty years I think I have about had my fill of the government’s only honest/legitimate revenue producing agency. What cha think about one coin per household with unlimited production….oh I forgot….that would not guarantee as many $$$$$$ for the mint. Anyone want to buy my collection?

Guest Guest April 23, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Jerry Evans – you pay $400 for a first strike PCGS and complain you can’t get online at the appointed time to do -what? Buy common business strike coins? Hey, have some girlfriends do it for you just like all the scalpers and coin dealers and others man!

Jerry Evans April 23, 2016 at 6:31 pm

Now that is a good idea Guest Guest. Thanks

john May 24, 2016 at 1:18 pm

Prices in secondary market came down quickly. I’ll make note for next two releases. I’m doubling down. Find mind $95-110 over list for a 70. After submitting and shipping, it’s a bargain

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