2015 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin Launch

by Mike Unser on July 30, 2015 · 53 comments

Many collectors have looked forward to today. The United States Mint launches its one-ounce, 24-karat gold coin with high relief designs of Lady Liberty and an American eagle. It’s the Mint’s first-ever gold coin with a $100 face value.

2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin and Case

2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin and Case. The collectible is the Mint’s first-ever $100-denominated gold coin.

Sales of the 2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin kick off at noon EDT. The U.S. Mint is anticipating a lot of interest, and suggests ordering online.

"Customers should be aware this could be a high-demand item. For faster ordering, customers should be on the website at noon July 30" Lateefah Simms, public affairs specialist in the Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications, said in an email. "If customers have an account and are logged in, they can usually complete their purchase in under two minutes. The website can handle thousands of customers at a time, so the website is the fastest method to get an order in the system."

This .9999 fine gold collectible will be one of the Mint’s most expensive products of the year with its opening price of $1,490.00. That can change weekly depending on the market value of gold, and it was nearly $50 higher.

Some will consider the coin’s premium a barrier to buying, since its price is now almost $400 higher than its melt value. In some coin-to-coin comparisons, it’s $50 more than the 24-karat proof American Gold Buffalo and $80 higher than the biggest 22-karat proof American Gold Eagle.

2015 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin

2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin

Back to the face value, it’s the Mint’s first $100-denominated gold coin but the agency has issued $100 coins since 1997. Those, however, are in .9995 fine platinum for the American Platinum Eagle series.

Coin Designs

Designed by Justin Kunz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, obverses (heads side) offer a depiction of Lady Liberty with a torch held upright in her right hand and an American flag on staff in her left.

2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin - Obverse

The obverse of the 2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin. Inscriptions include LIBERTY, 2015, IN GOD WE TRUST and the artists’ initials.

Reverses feature an eagle rising in flight, as designed by Paul C. Balin and sculpted by Don Everhart. This design was praised and first presented as an option for this year’s 2015-W $5 U.S. Marshals 225th Anniversary Gold Coin. It was also the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee’s choice in a proposed idea for a new American Silver Eagle reverse.

2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin - Reverse

The reverse of the 2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin. Inscriptions include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, 1 OZ. .9999 FINE GOLD, ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS, the West Point Mint’s "W" mint mark, and the artists’ initials.

To maximize the designs in high relief, the U.S. Mint at West Point strikes each coin to a slightly smaller diameter of 1.205 inches versus the standard 1.287 inches of one-ounce American Gold Buffalos, American Gold Eagles, and American Platinum Eagles.

Sales Expectations, Limits and Ordering

Sales predictions vary greatly. Some observers expect a sellout at the established mintage limit of 50,000. Considering that possibility, there should still be enough through the early going even with a dealer-favored household ordering limit of 50.

The 2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin will not be available at any of the Mint’s sales counters, only online right here and via telephone at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).

Earlier U.S. Mint plans had called for a one-ounce, .999 pure silver medal with the same high relief designs as the gold coin. That will not happen this year and the Mint has not determined if it will be released later.

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I really like the new 2015 Liberty High Relief gold coin. However, I noticed an inconsistency in the artwork on the obverse face of the coin. The flag on the face of the coin is clearly flowing from wind/breeze/movement. Liberty’s dress (toga) and the flame of the torch is very static. The artist really missed the spirit of the image that could have been easily captured with a few minor adjustments to the artwork. St. Gaudens design captures the flowing movement concept perfectly. Just my opinion on what otherwise is a pretty nice coin. Reverse side is perfect.