Kunz Discusses 2015 American Liberty Gold Coin Design

by Darrin Lee Unser on September 22, 2015 · 12 comments

2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin

Photo of a 2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin

One of the most anticipated releases from the United States Mint this year was the 2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin. The one-ounce, 24-karat gold piece debuted earlier this summer and saw strong early demand from collectors.

In a YouTube video recently published by Brigham Young University, Justin Kunz discusses his modern interpretation of Lady Liberty that appears on the coin’s obverse.

"The task that we were given by the Mint was to portray Liberty in a modern way, a new way," describes Justin Kunz, designer of the obverse of the 2015-W $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin. "What that meant, they didn’t really tell us. It was open for us to interpret."

Kunz is no stranger to U.S. coin designs. His previous work includes the obverse of the 2014 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Commemorative Silver Dollar, the obverse of the 2009 Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Silver Dollar, and the reverse of the 2008 Andrew Jackson’s Liberty First Spouse Gold Coin.

Struck at the U.S. Mint at West Point and currently available for $1,540.00, the high-relief gold coin is part of the Mint’s push to feature contemporary designs using the latest in modern digital and manufacturing technology. It sales stand at 41,944, accounting for 83.9% of the maximum 50,000 mintage.

The video is less than 90 seconds long and immediately below.

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Tim
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Tim

When I first saw this design and still the image reminds me of Ringo’s wife, Barbara Bach from the James Bond movies. That’s not a bad thing, like the coin.

Jp
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Jp

I know a lot of you did not seem to like this Liberty. Keep in mind this was not “yesterdays” Liberty but an example of a modern day Liberty. I very much liked the design and was thrilled to get my order in right away. Too bad the Mint did such a POOR job of making these coins. The quality control sucked. I returned All of the ones I ordered as they ALL had the same flaws on the Reverse and looked scratched on the fields on the Obverse. Horrible quality. It seemed that many of you had the exact same problems. As of late I am finding more poor quality coins coming from the Mint. I wish they would address this. They never respond when you send back coins with issues.

Dwight
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Dwight

Liberty on the $100 high relief gold coin has been described as looking like Angelina Jolie.

Jim
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Jim

The eagle is the most redeeming feature of any coin lately.

It should be used on silver coins in the future, of course, with a differing obverse

I’m just a little guy, can’t afford the gold ounce coins

MK
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MK

Apparently on many modern issues by the US mint, depicting the subject matter in a “new way” means lack of focal point. For example, on the American Liberty coin the typography, the figure, and the flag are all equally prominent. All compete equally for attention; it is not pleasing to look at because the eye is never at rest. There is nothing modern about this design, either. The classic pre-1965 U.S coins minted from the 1920s were influenced by Modernist movements such as Art Deco. Current US coins are post-Modernist in that they have nothing new to contribute — everything’s already been done. All they can do is rehash old and remix old ideas. I always smirk when I see post-1964 US coinage refer to as “modern.” In terms of artistic style, modern had already peaked and was gone by the late 1980s.

Whistler
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Whistler

A PC Liberty……

Tinto
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Tinto

This HR Liberty’s reverse looks almost like the St Gaudens’ and even the obverse looks a little bit like the St. G. too from like the waist up, only the HR shows the view from the left side of Liberty instead of head on and the HR arms are not fully extended but pulled in, almost forming a “W”. And the HR Liberty is not striding forward, more like standing and taking a break with the Star Bucks Venti sized torch in one hand and a flag in the other. Yeah like resting on her laurels …

Kyungwon
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It’s nothing short of a masterpiece. Do you agree with this idea or not ?
I’d like to reserve judgement.

Jp
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Jp

Hey folks, lets take a vote! (Not that it really matters, the coin is already done)
I like it. If you think Liberty looks like Angelina Jolie, I’ve got NO PROBLEM with that!
I like it, I just no longer OWN it!

Kyungwon
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Kyungwon

I’m not sure but I think Liberty is more like Ms. Michelle Pfeiffer.

Dwight
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Dwight

Liberty does look like Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of Queen Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great in the 2004 movie Alexander. You can look it up to see for yourself.

RonnieBGood
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RonnieBGood

I think you guys have way too much time on your hands.