2016 American Liberty Silver Medal Limits and Images Unveiled

by Mike Unser on August 11, 2016 · 44 comments

Today, Aug. 11, the United States Mint published product details for the 2016 American Liberty Silver Medals, including images of the pair and their limits.

2016 American Liberty Silver Medals and Packaging

There are two 2016 American Liberty Silver Medals, one from the West Point Mint and one from the San Francisco Mint. Each ships encapsulated, and is presented in a standard blue velvet presentation case that is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. The medals are made from the same planchets that are used in striking American Silver Eagles. They share the same basic specifications, though the medals have smooth edges.

Launching Tuesday, Aug. 23, the two 1-ounce, .999 fine silver medal versions of last year’s 2015 $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin are limited to 12,500 each and further restricted to 4 medals per household — 2 for the medal made in West Point and 2 for the one produced in San Francisco.

The limits seem surprisingly low, and may suggest a frustrating situation for some collectors who could miss out on buying them. The 2015 $100 Liberty gold piece launched at a price of $1,189 and the U.S. Mint stopped reporting its sales at 49,325 coins. Medals are much less popular than coins, but you don’t see them in proof quality like these and, also, many collectors who bought the gold piece will want the silver medals as companions. Plus, they’re much more affordable at $34.95. There are those who didn’t spend on the gold coin but have voiced interest in getting the cheaper medals.

2016-W American Liberty Silver Medal - Obverse

The medals’ obverse features a modern rendition of Lady Liberty, as designed by Justin Kunz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. Inscriptions around the image include LIBERTY, 2016 and JK and PH for the artists’ initials.

With all this being said, the U.S. Mint has the freedom to strike more of them. Congress doesn’t restrict the agency in this regard as it does for silver coins.

Aug. 23 will still be a very interesting day. The launches will likely test the Mint’s website to see how well can handle a lot of traffic in just a few minutes.

2016-W American Liberty Silver Medal - Reverse

Paul C. Balin designed and Don Everhart sculpted the medals’ American eagle reverse. Surrounding inscriptions include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, a mint mark of S or W for the mint of origin, and PCB and DE for the artists’ initials.

Sales of the two medals will begin on the 23rd at noon ET. The U.S. Mint’s online product pages for the pair are here and here.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Broadwing August 11, 2016 at 12:29 pm

Be my guest gents. Knock yourselves out. That’s over $70.00 with S&H for two silver slabs. No thanks, I’ll pass, been burned to many times before.

Tinto August 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm


Agree ..and the Mint doesn’t say whether these medals were struck in high relief like the gold ….. I’m just saving up for the TR “P” puck and the bullion and the RR C&C set. …

Stuart Wheeler August 11, 2016 at 12:51 pm

For those who care and have the funds as well, the 2 remaining centennial gold coins, the proof and burnished silver eagles, the limited edition silver proof set, and the remainder of products exclusive to 2016 not mentioned here. Enough to send the wealthy to the poor house on skid row. I remember 50 years ago first hand that there were only two products: Proof and Uncirculated sets. That’s all. Done deal.

Whistler August 11, 2016 at 1:17 pm

If I recall as they are medals they (the MINT boneheads) can adjust & increase the mintage limits. BY THE WAY, as to medals, what is up with the 2015 1st Spouse sets, they have been off sale since Trump got his last haircut! I have several sets but I bet there will be no more, the item will slip into sold out with nary a wimper……hard 2 see if these are high relief or double struck. But, when silver hits $50 these ill have been a deal……maybe in 2019….

Joe C. August 11, 2016 at 1:27 pm

Where does it say 1 oz .999 fine silver? On the smooth edge? Also, I didn’t like the obverse on the gold and I still don’t like it on the silver metal. To me it is worth just silver melt price. Our mint is incompetent of getting anything right. Just my opinion.

KC&SO August 11, 2016 at 2:26 pm

“The 2015 $100 Liberty gold piece launched at a price of $1,189”

Wish I could go back to 2009 and pick up a few more of those UHR’s when it launched for $1,189

Seth Riesling August 11, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Joe C. –

These medals will not have the silver fineness or weight inscribed on them. They also will not have the inscription “In God We Trust”. That is too bad & basically makes them silver rounds, but even private Mint silver rounds have the metal fineness on them.


KC&SO August 11, 2016 at 2:35 pm

With an unusually low Product Limit with no up front Mintage limit, it would surprise me to see one of these offerings pared with another offering in a set, like a ‘S’ & ‘S’ ASE set found exclusive in this set, that would be a nice touch.

Say a product limit of 100,000, HHL of 1, keep it at or below $99, perhaps do some special enhanced finish to the S ASE – now that would get me excited!

Silgold August 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm

i had 2 questions:
Can private mint make the same design medal , it is not illegal to make same design on US medal !
second, why US mint did not make it to Legal tender ?

John K August 11, 2016 at 4:02 pm

“Will likely test the Mint’s website ” we all know how that’s going to play out… Crash boom bang Kaboom !! (unless of course your one of the “Big Boys )

Seth Riesling August 11, 2016 at 4:05 pm

Mike Unser-

Thanks for the updated info.!
In the second paragraph, you have these medals described as “coins” in four places. Also under last photo tagline is the word “groin” instead of “origin” – a Freudian slip? Darn auto-spellchecker I suspect.

As Mike has stated in this article, it is true that the Mint can issue any amount of these medals they want in any metal or alloy at any time or any year since this medal is not the product of congressional legislation mintage limits. If popular, they will issue more & probably in bronze also sometime.

Happy collecting everyone!


bilelle August 11, 2016 at 4:28 pm

Anyone know why the mint has seemingly backend loaded the schedule of items this year? It has looked all year like the mint was running a pretty relaxed schedule the first half of the year. .
Also has anyone heard anything further on what the mint is going to do with the 8,000 plus 2016 Gold Mercury Dimes ? Offer them in a 3 coin set with the other 2 Gold Cenntenial coins?? Sell the 8,000 plus on short notice? Any thoughts?
Bilelle 8-11-16

jim August 11, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Not the anorexic liberty again!!!
I wonder whose brain(less)child this was – Peterson? Jeppson? They both certainly qualify for this medal series.

vadim August 12, 2016 at 3:30 pm

This coin reminds me of the 90s, and there’s no “In God we Trust”. Considering other items that will come on sale, I will pass on this.

jeremy August 14, 2016 at 3:27 am

my main question is why is the silver medal not high relief like the gold coin.
i was thinking us mint want to do a high relief in design in gold & silver?
this blog should ask the us mint about that

Joe C. August 14, 2016 at 6:42 pm

No weight, no fineness, smooth edge. The counterfeiters will have a ball with this one.

Seth Riesling August 14, 2016 at 8:27 pm

Joe C. –

You are probably right about the counterfeiting. I bet the expert counterfeiters in China already have silver-plated bronze replicas ready to sell on ebay of these silver medals!


Jim August 15, 2016 at 5:41 am

Only estimate 6,250 people could have these sets of four. If all buy them completely. Prices could rise to $500 or more for each coin.

Seth Riesling August 15, 2016 at 1:51 pm

Jim –

These are medals, not coins. Big difference! The US Mints 9-11 10th anniversary silver medals from 2011 can now be purchased below their issue price. Modern US Mint medals like the rare 1993 silver US Mint anniversary medals from their “Philadelphia Set” can be purchased for under $100 & they had a lower total mintage than these.


joera August 15, 2016 at 10:19 pm

I kind of like the reverse on these but I might also pass on it. Being a medal and also looking a little too plain, like they are missing something, they just don’t really catch my eye. AT ALL!!

Seth Riesling August 15, 2016 at 11:08 pm

joera –

They sure have a lot of open space on these silver medals, especially the reverse design. The smallest scratch in those areas will be very obvious. And they do not have the inscription “In God We Trust,” which I think they should have IMHO.


jim August 16, 2016 at 12:11 am

As a medal I’m thinking they can put on it whatever they want to – or not. “In God We Trust” isn’t something I would have put on a medal if I were designing one. But then again I wouldn’t have used the anorexic liberty either.

Don’t forget the original issue price was based on the current price of silver which was 35.58 back then, more than $15 over today’s price for 1 oz silver.

Seth Riesling August 16, 2016 at 1:20 am

jim –

The great thing about US Mint medals that Congress hasn’t been involved in is they can have basically anything on them or leave things off that are required on all of the US circulating coins. The Mint’s 2011 9-11 national silver medal was issued by an act of Congress & public law & was pre-issue for 30 days priced at $56.95 including the $10 surcharge & then was increased to $66.95 each including the $10 surcharge – a very high premium over the then spot silver price. Sales were very low for those 2 different 2011 Mint-marked medals. It is a beautiful memorial medal, but just priced too high back then. I only bought 1 each of the “P” & “W” versions to continue my silver US Mint medal collection.
The new Lady Liberty on a diet silver medals are very plain compared to the
9-11 silver medals.


jim August 16, 2016 at 2:33 am

I realize the purpose of the mint is to provide coinage for the country and the deputy directors Peterson and Jeppson have demonstrated that single mindedness to the detriment of collector coin quality and service. I don’t remember seeing a questionnaire from the mint asking collectors what changes/improvements they would most like to see in the mint. Maybe they just haven’t thought of asking their customers for their opinions. I’ve got a whole list of suggestions if they asked for them.

The 2011 medal was a National Medal compared to the mint’s simple liberty medal series that I guess is the mint’s way of catering to collectors. How did they get the idea that a new series of medals would appease collectors ire? Boy did they miss the boat on that one.

Seth Riesling August 16, 2016 at 11:36 am

jim –

I agree the Mint missed the boat for sure many times. Their boat is sinking fairly quickly & they are in need of flotation devices or swimming lessons!


jim August 16, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Well, we both know what they really need is a real captain, not one of these brain dead seat warmers from the Senior Executive Service,

Seth Riesling August 16, 2016 at 2:18 pm

jim –

So true. I still can’t believe the largest Mint in the world has not had a Mint Director for more than 5 years now! Congress should be ashamed for not doing their job & confirming a presidential nominee years ago. What an embarrassing mess. I say we should promote a new campaign slogan, “Make the US Mint Great Again!”


Joe C. August 16, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Seth and Jim,
Hey, the whole country is going astray, Not just the mint.

bilelle August 16, 2016 at 2:32 pm

Wow you guys a BAD LOL LOL I LOVE IT.
Make the

Seth Riesling August 16, 2016 at 2:54 pm

Joe C. & bilelle –

I try hard to stay optimistic about things, but reality hits me in the head almost daily it seems! “Time marches on & sometimes it marches right over your face” – to borrow a movie quote by Dolly Parton. This has been a rough year in the USA in many respects & as much as I have criticized the Mint in particular, I realize they do some things well & without my numismatic hobby my life would be a little less intetesting. It provides me an escape from the bad things going on in the world & I learn new things all the time studying numismatics.
Want to help me make campaign signs, banners & posters and march in front of the mothership Mint in Philadelphia guys?


FLSharkvictim August 16, 2016 at 4:52 pm

What makes me sick to my stomach is there are ready 2 scalpers on EBAY by the screen name of 8312_leopard & jesse_james_rare_coins – PRE selling these coins for double the price! Yes, i AM CALLING YOU OUT!!! i AM SO GLAD THEY PUT A restriction to 4 medals per household so now one can come in and scope up a lot of them in one order – Unlike the Gold mercury dime which HAD A 15 COIN PER HOUSEHOLD LIMT. In my opinion that’s not fair to the american public. About time the mint did something right for a change.

bilelle August 16, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Seth, if you get the permit and bring the bail $ for us I will help with the sign making, and shoe leather.
The thing that sorta gets my goat are those relatives of Ole P.T. Barnum who are out there on Duh Bay selling the same old snake oil just with a pretty new wrapper.
Let’s make the US Mint Great Again ❤️❤️

Seth Riesling August 16, 2016 at 7:40 pm

bilelle –

Amen brother! Believe it or not, I have never bought anything on Ebay™ although I do look at the shenanigans going on there with numismatic items. Some major ripoffs just like on tv coin shopping shows.
“And I suppose some of them are good people,” to paraphrase The Donald!
Quote from a numismatic historian in the distant future: “Remember the march on the Philadelphia Mint back in the Summer of 2016?!” LOL

Happy collecting!


Seth Riesling August 16, 2016 at 10:48 pm

Mike Unser & FYI CoinNews readers –

US Mint spokesman Michael White confirmed to the press upon inquiry that these silver medals will NOT be high relief strikes like the gold coin from last year that the design is based on!
They promised this “companion” high relief silver medal last year & pulled out saying maybe in 2016. Now they have pulled out of their promise to strike these silver medals in high relief.
No wonder US Mint Principal Deputy Director Matthew Rhett Jeppson while attending the ANA coin show & convention in Anaheim last week August 9-13 (the largest coin show & convention in the world) did not host a traditional collector forum open to the public & he refused to answer questions about this & other matters to the press.
Your taxpayer money for his salary is paying for his ineptness & lack of leadership & lack of positive results!
Let him know what you think about this situation by email. I am sure he has the free time to read them!


jim August 16, 2016 at 11:25 pm

Wow, it sounds like you’ve joined the bandwagon. I’ve been harping about Peterson and now Jeppson because he’s no better for years now and even when I wrote a letter to Secretary Lew all he did was pass it on to the mint and left it up to them to respond to why there are still 6 TBDs on the product schedule it being the middle of August now. So a hands-off management style from Lew and a “this is the way we do things” response from the mint.

If Jeppson is so embarrassed to not answer questions in person he most likely won’t read any email unless it’s been screened so good luck with that effort. However, if he is indeed embarrassed then he must know he’s screwed things up and may make an attempt to fix something. I just hope he doesn’t think a liberty medal will do that. Peterson had the job for 4 years – that means Jeppson has another 2 1/2 years to go.

may August 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm

quick sell out !!

Joe C. August 22, 2016 at 6:38 pm

I predict they won’t sell out.

Dave August 23, 2016 at 11:58 am

even with limit sold out in 8 min?? i never got through . what a terrible operation lately at the mint . Its like dealing with the post office

bilelle August 23, 2016 at 1:20 pm

I was on line at a few seconds after noon and had 2 coins from each mint in my bag but the system would NOT let me check the confirm that I accept the mints terms.
I got the email time stamped at 12:06 that the coins were now avaiable (sad joke on the mints part) .
I called the mint order line and the woman tod me they were sold out. I asked her how many orders she was able to take and she replied “only 1 order”.
I told her how I had the metals in my bag and that I could not get the system in step 4 to show the box to check for accepting the mints terms. The lady told me that is exactly what had happened to the man that she was able to place the order for.

What a bummer, same crap that went on for the Gold Mercury Dime.
It is a shame that the mint keeps on screwing with us the way they do.
Seth when are you leaving for the march lol lol 🙂

Michael A Gonzalez August 24, 2016 at 2:23 pm

FYI Tried to purchase August 23, 2016 at 9 a.m. pacific time gone by 9:05 a.m. had two San Francisco mint medals in my shopping cart and were snatched out before I could complete my order information. The system is definitely flawed. Squawked to customer service waiting for reply. Also I was logged in and at 9 a.m. I was prompted to change my password for security reasons, more wasted time. Something sure seemed fishy.

Joe C. August 25, 2016 at 3:50 pm

WOW! Was I wrong. I predicted that they would not sell out. Why such a high demand for a “silver round” at $34.95 each plus shipping? It will be interesting to see how many will be returned.

Senior August 25, 2016 at 6:17 pm

With such a low number minted the grumbling is predictable.I don’t write often but I in the past have remarked about the mint tossing collectors a bone.Persomally I like these pieces and I really like the low numbers.I was the early bird and purchased one set.My set shipped this AM.Looking forward seeing them in hand.Thanks Mike.Respectflluy.Richard( Senior to all)

Senior August 25, 2016 at 6:19 pm

I believe few of these will be sent sent back.

john August 29, 2016 at 6:03 pm

So there was a limit that you can buy, 2 from each mint. But there are website and ebay users selling these by the boatload for 150+ ?? Since you aren’t hurting the government its OK.

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