2018-2020 Proof American Platinum Eagle Designs Depict Life, Liberty and Happiness

by Mike Unser on October 24, 2017 · 15 comments

The United States Mint on Monday, Oct. 23, announced designs for the next three years of proof American Platinum Eagles.

2018-2020 Proof American Platinum Eagle Designs

Above are the three obverse (heads) and one reverse (tails) designs for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 proof American Platinum Eagles. The three-year program is titled “Preamble to the Declaration of Independence Platinum Proof Coin Series.”

These collectibles mark a change from the past. Since debuting in 1997, the program of 1-ounce .9995 platinum coins has shared the same obverse portrait of Liberty while featuring different reverse designs. Switching it around, coins in 2018, 2019 and 2020 will have varying obverses and a common eagle in flight reverse.

They will be released under the design theme "Preamble to the Declaration of Independence," featuring obverse designs of:

  • "Life" in 2018, personified by Lady Liberty teaching a small child to sow seeds in a field.

  • "Liberty" in 2019, represented by Lady Liberty keeping watch over prairies, lakes, and mountains as pioneers head westward.

  • "Pursuit of Happiness" in 2020, personified by Lady Liberty harvesting the fruits of her labor with a young girl at play nearby.

Shown prominently, inscriptions of "Life" in 2018, "Liberty" in 2019, and "Happiness" in 2020 are presented in the likenesses of the handwritten words from the Declaration of Independence.

The three obverse designs may appear more in tune with each other as, for the very first time, they were created concurrently by one designer. Justin Kunz designed them while Patricia Morris crafted the shared reverse. They were selected following CCAC and CFA reviews that looked over several sets of proposed designs

As in the past, the West Point Mint will strike the platinum coins to a weight of 31.120 grams and a diameter of 32.70 millimeters. The first one in the series, "Preamble to the Declaration of Independence: Life," will be released Jan. 25, 2018. Additional details will be available prior to each coin’s release.

U.S. Mint images and descriptions of the four designs follow.

2018-2020 Proof Platinum American Eagle Reverse Design

The common reverse design for the 2018 to 2020 Preamble to the Declaration of Independence series depicts an eagle in flight with an olive branch in its talons.

2018-2020 Proof American Platinum Eagle Reverse Design

This image shows the reverse design that will be on the 2018, 2019, and 2020 proof platinum coins

Inscriptions include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, $100, 1 OZ., and .9995 PLATINUM. Patricia Morris was the designer and Don Everhart the sculptor.

2018 "Life" Obverse Design

The 2018 obverse design features "Life" personified by Lady Liberty teaching a small child to sow seeds in a field. The sword she carries symbolizes the power to defend life. The furrowed earth represents the forethought and labor required to sustain life. The tree and stream represent nature, suggesting the need to be good stewards of an environment that sustains life.

2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Obverse Life Design

2018-W Proof American Platinum Eagle – Obverse Life Design

Inscriptions include LIFE, IN GOD WE TRUST, E PLURIBUS UNUM, LIBERTY, and 2018. Justin Kunz created the design and Phebe Hemphill sculpted it.

2019 "Liberty" Obverse Design

The 2019 obverse design portrays Lady Liberty keeping watch over prairies, lakes, and mountains as pioneers head westward. The wild terrain featured in the background evokes the quintessential American spirit to explore new territory and the freedom to pursue new landscapes, new ideas, and new ways of life. In the foreground, Lady Liberty’s lips are parted, suggesting freedom of speech. Her torch is an emblem of the guiding light that liberty provides, while the book represents the rule of law and its equal application.

2019-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Obverse Liberty Design

2019-W Proof American Platinum Eagle – Obverse Liberty Design

Inscriptions include LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and 2019. Justin Kunz created the design and Joseph Menna sculpted it.

2020 "Pursuit of Happiness" Obverse Design

The 2020 obverse design depicts Lady Liberty harvesting the fruits of her labor with a young girl at play nearby. The overflowing cornucopia she carries is a symbol of the physical, intellectual, and spiritual bounty only liberty makes possible — the good things that nourish the body, enliven the mind, and satisfy the soul. The home, orchard, and silo represent American hopes, values, and aspirations and bring to a close the narrative told throughout the backgrounds of the series — from furrowed earth, to prairies and mountains, and finally to an agrarian field. The stubble field alludes to the ingenuity and exertion required to claim liberty’s promise.

2020-W Proof American Platinum Eagle - Obverse Pursuit of Happiness Design

2020-W Proof American Platinum Eagle – Obverse Pursuit of Happiness Design

Inscriptions include HAPPINESS, IN GOD WE TRUST, E PLURIBUS UNUM, LIBERTY, and 2020. Justin Kunz created the design and Michael Gaudioso sculpted it.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard October 24, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Hmmm….pretty designs and a nice sentiment flowing through 3 years. Yet they sort of look like Wonder Woman on Paradise Island. Men can’t nurture and make children happy too?

Millhouse October 24, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Never saw a male version of liberty but I guess it could happen. These designs in general are not very appealing. Sorry to see the original platinum lady liberty go. These will likely not do so well with collectors.

vadim October 24, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Richard and Millhouse –

You’re right. There are 3 things that our government should insure its citizens. Liberty, Security, and Justice! So maybe Security or Justice with a male figure? Hmmm…? Give males a brake eh US Mint?

vadim October 24, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Is it me or the figures look to Greek/Roman? What’s with the rope?

Seth Riesling October 24, 2017 at 1:07 pm

vadim –

The U.S. Mint just loves using the typical ancient Greek & Roman female “model” (clothing, hairstyles, headbands etc.) on coins. The designer of all 3 obverses is art professor Justin Barton Kunz of Brigham Young University in Utah (a devout Morman with a wife & 4 children – so he knows who rules the household – him!). But, he is just being very traditional here with these mamby-pamby designs. Nice, but not great.

-NumisdudeTX

Patrick Helton October 24, 2017 at 6:03 pm

I think that the 2019 Lady Liberty looks like Julia Roberts.

joera October 24, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Mike Unser
Thank You! I started to receive my emails on new posts and comments. I really do appreciate it.

Morgan Tierney October 24, 2017 at 6:56 pm

A covered wagon may represent liberty for some Americans who moved West. For the people already there it meant nothing but extermination or confinement in prisoner of war camps then called reservations. An extremely poor choice. Because no one is driving the covered wagon, I suppose it makes sense that there are no reins to handle the oxen pulling it. Must be one of those new driverless vehicles.

Seth Riesling October 24, 2017 at 7:51 pm

Morgan Tierney –

The Conestoga wagon on the 2019 coin is almost the same as that on the Oregon Trail Memorial commemorative silver half dollars issued during the 1926-1939 period, but that design, by James Earle Fraser & his artist wife Laura Gardin Fraser of Indian Head nickel fame, has a driver. It also has a Native American Indian on the reverse with his left hand up in the “halt” position facing East in front of the USA map telling the white man to stop coming out West & killing us!

-NumisdudeTX

Robert F Hall October 24, 2017 at 8:58 pm

America’s Game, the Wheel of Fortune, Vanna White. I elected her for the design on the 2020 coin.

Seth Riesling October 24, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Where are Lady Liberty’s feet?! Where are her sandals?

-NumisdudeTX

Tinto October 24, 2017 at 11:39 pm

Yeah, I thought I remember a male Liberty or at least what I called the Dude with the Sword design for a platinum coin a few years back .and the Mint pulled it with the wimpy excuse that it would not strike up properly on Platinum …right .. what ever happened to it … .. why couldn’t they use it on some other metal if it really (take that with a pound of salt .. it is the US Mint after all) is so hard to strike it on Platinum to this day … they could have used that for the 2019 “Liberty”

Morgan Tierney October 25, 2017 at 12:13 am

Thanks, Seth.

Laura Gardin Fraser and her husband James Earle Fraser were great artists, not simply illustrators. They did their research, chose appropriate images, thought through their designs, paid attention to detail, and created beautiful work.

Seth Riesling October 25, 2017 at 9:11 am

Morgan Tierney –

You are right on that for sure! The Fraser’s created amazing works of art, including what most numismatists consider the most “American” coin design – the Indian Head nickel (American Bison/Buffalo reverse with the real Bison “Black Diamond” from the NY Central Park Zoo which Fraser studied in person along with the 3 Native American Indian chiefs who sat for him to model). I would love to have a complete set in like PCGS MS-65 or 66. I have a few nice ones (1938-D PCGS MS-67 common date) but not a herd yet! Lol

Happy collecting Morgan!

-NumisdudeTX

Michael Irwin October 26, 2017 at 4:55 am

I like the concept, and the overall design, but what’s with the Romanesque apparel ? Did we not learn, that Rome fell like so many other powerful states or was this meant to be prophetic ? The Liberty coin although illustrating freedom of movement , that and our Liberty is contingent upon the Second Amendment, our ability to maintain Liberty from Tyranny by force against an over burdening governance. By far the best Platinum Coin was the 2012.

Leave a Comment