2016 Intaglio Prints for Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness

by Rhonda Kay on December 23, 2015 · 5 comments

Next month, on Jan. 7, 2016, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing will open sales of its 2016 Intaglio Print Subscription Program, "Independence Collection."

Independence Collection of 2016 Intaglio Prints

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s Independence Collection of 2016 Intaglio Prints

The 2016 BEP program focuses on the Declaration of Independence with three prints titled Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.

"The collection features an exquisite compilation of unique, engraved vignettes focusing on the age-old art of intaglio printing," describes the BEP.

By joining the subscription program, the collection of three prints may be purchased for $51.00, which is a savings of $16.50 off the cost of ordering them separately.

Each print will go on sale individually for $22.50, and launch at staggered intervals throughout 2016. The subscription not only offers a cheaper price per print, it guarantees subscribers will get all three. The subscription ordering deadline is Jan. 31, 2016.

Individual release dates for the "Independence Collection" Intaglio Prints are:

  • Life will launch on Jan. 7, 2016 at the same time as the BEP participates at the Florida United Numismatists convention in Tampa, Florida
  • Liberty will launch on Mar. 3, 2016
  • Pursuit of Happiness will launch on Aug. 9, 2016

Beginning at 8:00 a.m. ET on the 7th, the BEP will accept subscription orders on its website, www.moneyfactorystore.gov/intaglioprints.aspx.

Measuring 8 1/2" x 11", each print will ship after its first day of sale. Larger BEP images of each print follow.

2016 Life Intaglio Print from Independence Collection

2016 Life Intaglio Print from Independence Collection

2016 Liberty Intaglio Print from Independence Collection

2016 Liberty Intaglio Print from Independence Collection

2016 Pursuit of Happiness Intaglio Print from Independence Collection

2016 Pursuit of Happiness Intaglio Print from Independence Collection

About the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is the largest producer of security documents in the United States. The bureau prints billions of Federal Reserve Notes for delivery to the Federal Reserve System each year. These notes are produced at facilities in Washington, DC, and Fort Worth, Texas. It also produces products for collectors to include intaglio prints, vignettes, and presidential portraits.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Seth Riesling December 23, 2015 at 10:43 am

Rhonda (Kay) Unser & CoinNews readers –

Thanks for the enlarged photos of this beautiful & historically significant 2016 intaglio print series by the BEP Mrs. Unser. I received an e-mail from the BEP on December 18 about this new program & posted my comments under the article dated December 18 by CoinNews titled “BEP 2016 Year-End Holiday Closures” if you might be interested in my thoughts about this fantastic new series. I have collected BEP intaglio prints since the late 1980s & have even sold some extras at high prices due to their popularity over the years. They are printed by the BEP in the same age-old intaglio process that our Federal Reserve Notes are printed and are on heavy card stock paper. Very nice items for collecting or framing as art work!
Happy collecting everyone!


jim December 24, 2015 at 11:28 am

So you’re saying that eventually these will increase in value over time? What time frame? There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the number of orders so rarity doesn’t come into play – everybody who wants one or a set can get one or as many as they want. I don’t discount their beauty and detail but it looks like the market for these might be limited. Is it ever published how many of any one print are actually printed?

Seth Riesling December 24, 2015 at 12:06 pm

jim –

I am a collector of these items, not an investor per se. But they have a large following with the hard-core U.S. paper money collectors since they are printed using hand-engraved steel plates on the same presses as Federal Reserve Notes. Some are limited edition prints & some are based on the number of orders & production capacity of the BEP’s Eastern Currency Printing facility in Washington D.C. just one block from the White House in the original BEP federal building. They also print all official U.S. government raised ink (intaglio) printed cards such as Presidential Inauguration invitations, U.S. state dinner invitations etc. & those are highly collectible as well. The BEP sets up its “Billion Dollar Display” at select coin shows/conventions throughout the year including an original 1800s screw press that they use to “pull” a few prints at the shows to raffle off. I won a print at a ANA convention one year and was mobbed by about 12 collectors/dealers the second the BEP presented it to me & sold it to the highest “bidder” for $250 all in less than 10 minutes! They are rabid fans of any BEP product & most are members of the highly specialized group The Society of Paper Money Collectors (SPMC) which publishes a monthly journal for members. Prints that you get autographed by BEP’s artists at shows are worth even more of course. This is a small but very active niche area of numismatics & I only buy designs that I like of course & an extra to sell at a later date & have never lost money on any BEP intaglio print so far. Hope this information helps you.


jim December 24, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Thanks for the info. I’ll visit the SPMC website later. So one question unanswered – is it ever published how many of any one print are actually printed? Or is there a catalog on line of all these prints? (still thinking like a coin collector.)

Seth Riesling December 24, 2015 at 4:36 pm

jim –

I haven’t been a member of SPMC for years, since i sold my small paper money collection to focus on coins & medallic art, but they used to catalog the prints each year back in the 1990s. The BEP might have archives offline in the pre-internet fornat, but not on their website. Like the Mint they have a historian/librarian on staff for their publications, research etc. Maybe they have a list. I will call after the new year & ask for sure. I forgot to tell you another factor that increases demand for these prints. The BEP has a vault of all of its original steel dies going back to their beginning in the basement of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in 1862 while the current BEP building was under construction. They still use these dies for each print & they usually publish the die # and year it was engraved & name of the engraver if it is known. Some are just known as “miscellaneous die”. It is an amazing place for sure & i was lucky to have toured both BEP facilities on public & private tours (once in 1987 & once on opening day at the new Ft. Worth Western Currency Printing Facility in early 1990’s) but that was a long time ago! I will let you know what i find out about a catalog listing as soon as they re-open after the holidays Jim. Happy collecting to you & all.


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