On Tuesday, March 3, the United States Mint unveiled design candidates for its planned 2017 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin and Silver Medal.
The 24-karat gold piece extends the high-relief $100 series, with the first issue in 2015 capturing sales of more than 49,000. Designs on that coin will also appear later this year on two silver medals from two different Mint facilities.
Looking ahead, the themes for the planned 2017 high-relief gold coin and silver medal match those of the 2015 release. The proposed designs shows that their obverse or heads sides will feature a modern rendition of Liberty while their reverse or tails sides will depict an American eagle. The candidates are now being reviewed with an announcement on the final selections expected later this year.
U.S. Mint-provided images and narratives of the design candidates follow. They are presented in both their gold coin and silver medal versions.
Design Candidates for Obverses
Required inscriptions for the gold coin include "Liberty," "In God We Trust," "1792," and "2017." The companion silver medal will have the dates "1792" and "2017," with the optional inscription "Liberty."
HR-O-01 depicts a contemporary Lady Liberty holding a bundle of wheat in her right arm while preparing to offer a portion with her left hand. The artist incorporated the wheat bundles as symbols of the wealth and charity of America’s prosperous society.
HR-O-02 shows a close-up portrait of Liberty, while HR-O-03 reveals her standing as she holds a torch in each hand, enveloped in a flowing banner.
HR-O-04 through HR-O-06 depict close-up views of Liberty. In HR-O-05, her hand holds a torch.
HR-O-07 finds Liberty wearing a Phrygian cap and a gown adorned with stars. She holds the American flag in her left hand.
HR-O-08 features a profile of Liberty wearing a crown of stars, a nod to the Statue of Freedom atop the U. S. Capitol.
Update: Both the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee recommended HR-O-08-C/M for the coin and medal obverses.
HR-O-09 depicts Liberty holding a flame in front of her.
HR-O-10 and HR-O-11 show close-up images of Liberty in profile. In HR-O-10 she is crowned in rays, symbolic beacons of hope, while in HR-O-11 she wears a crown inspired by that of the Statue of Liberty.
HR-O-12 features a standing Liberty. On her arm, she cradles a variety of grains, rice, wheat, oat and barley, representing diversity and abundant charity. Resting on her chest, her other hand is holding a branch of oak, symbolizing strength and integrity.
HR-O-13 depicts Liberty in the Digital Age. The artist uses the elements of a torch, a wreath, and a circuit board to symbolize the light of Liberty spread throughout the world through the Internet. In the circuit board element, the circuit connections, or circles, number a total of 50, with 13 of them around the Torch, denoting the 50 states and original 13 colonies.
HR-O-14 and HR-O-14A show Liberty releasing a dove, freeing the symbolic bird to spread peace. In her left hand she holds her torch. In HR-O-14, the portion of the circle shown behind Liberty represents a spherical shape, such as the Sun, while HR-O-14A offers a version without it.
HR-O-15 shows Liberty holding a scepter that is topped by a heart-shaped jewel. Here, the artist’s imagery is a reminder that Liberty does not grant us license to do whatever we want. Rather, Liberty grants us the freedom to rule our own hearts and govern our own passions.
HR-O-16 features Liberty holding her torch with her right hand, while her left hand holds scales. The artist uses a heart-shaped jewel representing passions, and a book symbolic of both knowledge and the law to suggest that these elements in balance lead to the fullest expression of Liberty.
HR-O-17 places Liberty at the scooped opening of a garden wall, releasing a dove in a symbolic gesture of freedom and peace. Her left hand holds her torch.
HR-O-18 through HR-O-20 depict close-up visions of Liberty as she gazes towards the new millennium. In HR-O-19, fine rays of light emanate from the left, while in HR-O-19A the rays appear as thirteen stripes, a compliment to the stars on the American flag draped over her shoulder.
HR-O-21, shows Liberty wearing a wreath of wheat and olive, signifying peace and abundance. The unripe olives suggest the promise of growth to yield an even greater harvest.
HR-O-22 depicts a standing Liberty, a torch in her left hand and a fasces in her right. The crown of wheat signifies abundance, while the silhouetted olive wreath in the background represents peace.
HR-O-23 features Liberty, with thirteen rays of light, symbolizing the free and creative spirit of America’s people, emanating along a headdress.
Design Candidates for Reverses
Required inscriptions for the gold coin are "United States of America," "E Pluribus Unum," "1 oz.," ".9999 Fine Gold," and the denomination, "$100." The corresponding silver medal may optionally depict the inscription "United States of America."
HR-R-01 and HR-R-01A depict a bold and powerful eagle in flight, with eyes toward opportunity and a determination to attain it.
Update: Both the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee recommended HR-R-01-C/M for the coin and medal reverses.
HR-R-02 features a stylized eagle displaying its feathered wing in powerful gesture.
HR-R-03 places the viewer below an eagle in flight, catching a glimpse of the olive branch it clutches.
HR-R-04 depicts an eagle as it prepares to land.
HR-R-05 shows a close-up view of an eagle, emphasizing its powerful form as it looks to the left.
HR-R-06 displays an eagle with wings fully opened, a symbolic show of the strength that secures freedom.
HR-R-07 through HR-R-09 feature heraldic eagles, displayed with banners, and branches of oak and olive. In HR-R-07 and HR-R-09 the eagle clutches an American flag.
HR-R-10 and HR-R-10A feature and eagle in flight, while rays of light rise from behind a mountain range. The fine rays depicted in HR-R-10, are replaced in HR-R-10A by rays appearing as thirteen stripes, complimenting the thirteen stars displayed.
HR-R-11 presents a close-up view an eagle.
HR-R-12 shows an eagle poised on the limb of a bur oak, with wings partly outstretched and its head in profile view. Behind the eagle, a branch of the oak curves into the distance.