American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin Unveiled (Updated)


Kicking off a yearlong celebration of its 225th anniversary, the United States Mint unveiled the 2017 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin in a ceremony today at the Department of Treasury in Washington, D.C.

2017-W $100 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin, Obverse, Edge and Obverse
Images of the obverse, edge and reverse of the 1792-2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin

Highlights of the 225th anniversary coin include an ounce of .9999 fine gold, an increased level of detail, a proof finish, raised edge lettering with stars, and a 1792-2017 duel date.

Then there is the design. Its obverse or heads side depicts Liberty as an African-American woman, facing left, wearing a crown of stars in homage to the bronze Statue of Freedom topping the dome of the U.S. Capitol, representing the traditional hopeful ideas of liberty while offering a hint of the possibilities that the future may hold.

American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin, Crown of Stars
The coin’s crown of stars pays homage to the Statue of Freedom
Crown of Stars of Statue of Freedom
The crown of stars on the Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol dome

U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program designer Justin Kunz created the portrait while U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill sculpted it. Their initials, JK and PH, appear on the design along with surrounding inscriptions of LIBERTY, the years 1792 and 2017, and the motto IN GOD WE TRUST.

2017-W $100 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin, Obverse
A closer look at the coin’s obverse or heads side

The reverse or tails side depicts an American eagle in flight with circling inscriptions of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, 100 DOLLARS, and 1OZ. .9999 FINE GOLD. Toward the bottom left is a ‘W’ mintmark, denoting its production at the U.S. Mint facility in West Point, New York.

2017-W $100 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin, Reverse
A closer look at the coin’s reverse or tails side

Initials of CTC and MG complete the artwork, representing U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program designer Chris T. Costello and U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.

Adding to its collectible appeal, edges of the high-relief gold coin show raised lettering of 225TH ANNIVERSARY and 13 five-point stars.

2017-W $100 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin, Edge
The gold coin’s edge has raised lettering and 13 stars

After reviewing candidates, the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee recommended both designs in March 2016.

The 24-karat gold coin is scheduled to launch sometime in the spring. Companion silver medals with the same designs should follow by summertime. It extends the high-relief $100 series, with the first issue in 2015 capturing sales of more than 49,000. Two silver medals followed in 2016 and quickly sold out.

Photos of 2015 $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin
Here are several CoinNews photos of the 2015 $100 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin. Its sales reached 73.3% of maximum within the first day.

Photos of 2016 American Liberty Silver Medals
CoinNews photos of companion 2016 American Liberty Silver Medals

The April 2, 1792 Act of Congress authorized Bureau of the Mint and the construction of its first building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Update (Jan 12): In a news release, the U.S. Mint announced that the 225th anniversary gold coin will launch on April 6. In addition, the bureau said the coin is:

"The first in a series of 24-karat gold coins that will feature designs which depict an allegorical Liberty in a variety of contemporary forms-including designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Indian-Americans among others-to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States. These 24-karat gold coins will be issued biennially."

The news release also stated that the gold piece will ship in a custom designed, black wood presentation case along with a 225th anniversary booklet and a Certificate of Authenticity.

Update (Jan 13): The United States Mint published a video showing production stages of the gold coin, as well as some completed examples in their packaging. The Mint’s footage is embedded below.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
one fine dime

sorry, but that logic doesn’t fly. go buy a silver round from the nearest pay-to-play cartoon trinket factory. they’ll whip you up whatever mass produced “coin” you want and you can stick it on your mantle and be proud. but for the authentic american numismatists, our coins must reflect TRUE liberty. this coin has a sublime and timeless elegance that is readily evident to anyone with a heart larger than a pea. go pull your Red Book down and look at those early flowing hairs and capped busts…now look at this coin. it is clearly a design for the ages.… Read more »


Agree to disagree. Been collecting for 30+ years. My coins aren’t displayed on the mantle. You should take yours down. They might fall or worse get stollen. Not into trinkets either, just beautiful U.S. Mint coins which are few and far between these days.


‘one fine dime’ nailed it – this coin has an elegant obverse and a beautiful reverse with the flying eagle design. Those who buy one will still be pleased they decided to five, ten, and twenty years from now.

My only negative comment would be the FOUR sets of initials; that must be a first.

Robert W. Miller

This is our first “politically correct” coin. Just wish it could have been more elegant. The stars headband is less than artistic to say the least. The rest of the obverse is fine. Agree, 4 sets of initials is trite political correctness too. Would have wished for a better execution for such an important coin. Just my opinion. Over all a beautiful coin with flaws and I will buy several if I can.


I honestly think the US MINT goofed on this coin? I believe the authentic american numismatists DID not reflect the TRUE image of and African People. They should have made it more realistic for I know the hairstyle depicted on the coin is of a modern African woman and it should have depicted a African LADY from the past. As for the STARS HORRRABLE !!!!!!!!!!! The 4 sets of initials is a political JOKE on this coin. The execution for such an important coin was totally LOST on the obverse. Now as for the reverse and edge of the coin… Read more »


This coin might end up being a low seller just because of the design being “politically correct.” And like it has been mentioned before low mintage does always mean high returns because the demand is just not there. Or at least not in the near future. Maybe way down the line when everybody or the majority embrace being “politically correct” as correct. But I may be wrong. Look at what happened with the silver form of this design, the 2016 Silver Liberty. After it sold out quickly the demand was there. But only after the sell out. Before the sell… Read more »


Couldn’t agree with you more, joera but be careful. Saying politically correct in our great nation, gets you labeled a racist. Freedom of speech indeed!!!! This coin screams HYPOCRISY!!!! Any yes, we are all still entitled to our opinions. Just brace your self for the labels that voicing your opinions. We are the most overly politically correct nation on the planet yet these same people like to call everyone a racist. Grow up!


How can you change lady liberty KEEP IT

Joe Brown

Hey Joe! Don*t sell your self off, as me*!

San Morgan

I interpret political as discussed to be a synonym for foundational as it refers to coinage as an instrument of value exchange for the United States of America. Coins represent the spirit of the nation as well as its value, in that order. Please know that the dollar bill has on it an Egyptian pyramid, the eye of Egyptian God, Ra and other ancient African symbols which you call masonry symbols. The colors this country adopted are are red, white and blue. John Hanson lead this country before George Washington did. Learn true history rather than fake history. Fake history… Read more »


where can I buy this coin


Sure is a lot of Red and Blue on here………Sure do like the Eagle…….The Obverse looks like the side profile of the 2015 Liberty high Relief other than that no real change


Saying this coin is being “politically correct” is as stupid as saying all the other coins are racist because its white people. Give it a brake.

Tim. B

Beautiful coin. But I believe that the racist coin collectors will not care for this coin. Leaves more for me to buy.


I really value your opinion…
Doesn’t these post comments and the previous post ones on this coin make you as sad as it makes me, about the way America thinks nowadays?
I am a white american in my 50s…BTW.

I will buy the silver medal. Gold is not withinmy budget.



Isn’t being politically correct and being a racist the same thing???? you would think so reading these comments. Just saying.


Politically correct??? Seems what you are saying is only Caucasians should be on coins. Do your homework. The model for the original double eagle design used a black woman as the model.


Just because many of us do not like or approve of the obverse, doesn’t make us old racist White men! In fact I don’t care for or like several of the quarter series reverses, partially the latest one being Iowa effigy mounds. Honestly to me, they look like animal crackers they were done so poorly. Does that make myself anti Iowa, or an Indian hater, or some white European bent on manifest destiny?? Can I not like something simply because it is not ascetically pleasing and does not appeal to my sense of art and beauty… Apparently the white knights… Read more »

Seth Riesling

Mike Unser – I was so busy at the event yesterday in Washington DC & on a Amtrak trip in the evening to visit friends in Baltimore that I totally forgot to post that the mintage on this beautiful gold African-American Liberty gold $100 coin will be 100,000 coins according to a US Mint representative at the reception held after the press conference coin unveiling in the famous Treasury Cash Room. Considering that the 2015 $100 American Liberty gold coin did not sell out & only sold about 49,000 coins, I doubt this coin will sell out due to price… Read more »


I see this coin as part of Obama’s legacy. He couldn’t get Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill so he went with a precious metal coin that the US Mint can issue without Congressional approval. The announcement being made while he is still in office is no coincidence. if the Mint really wanted to do a 225th Anniversary Coin, they should have gone with a more classic design. I don’t find the coin aesthetically appealing and have no intention of purchasing one. It’s one of those designs that you either love or hate.


I think the mint SHOULD recognize diversity on our coins. An African American woman or man or child SHOULD be on our coins but this one is just awful. This is an opinion of course, and the opinion of the majority of coin collectors, I’m sure. There is no timeless beauty in this coin and let’s forget about the obverse for a moment and look at the rendition of the bald eagle, our national symbol. I think the mint fell way short on the eagle as well. All around poorly designed coin. It has nothing to do with race, color,… Read more »


The 2017-W American Liberty High Relief $100 Gold Coin is expected to be go on sale Thursday April 6, 2017 @ noon EDT.

Seth Riesling

Dwight –

Thanks. I posted that info yesterday here. Also, the mintage will be 100,000 according to my Mint contact at the event I attended in Washington DC yesterday.

Happy collecting!



Thanks, Seth. I personally like the design of the 2017-W American Liberty High Relief $100 Gold Coin.


I wonder what Mr.Trump will say about this coin’s design if asked what he thinks of it…lmao! I could only imagine haha


This coin is being discussed on sites like CNN, LA Times, USA today, etc. As you can expect, more crying because of liberty is black. What’s interesting is the articles say its the first black liberty. Given the model for St gaudens $20 double eagle, is that correct?


Can’t believe people any more. When they put animals or a president I guess coin is fine. But a black person causing a lot of dislike for the coin. But people just can’t admit its cause she is black. Well blacks have been a major part of this country and what it has become. So for them to do there best to make a picture of a black to show liberty for all. I see the point. Real picture don’t exist cause of how times was. So one was made. Instead of picking at things like stars. Give credit for… Read more »


I am from south Louisiana (a white guy) and I don’t see this Lady Liberty as a “traditional” African (American). I see her as what we would call down here a Creole person of color. Meaning, she looks like she would have African, French, and/or Spanish ancestry with a culture unique to certain parts of Louisiana. When I see it, I think of music and singing and laughter and wry wit. I think of a hard working group of people who worked the cane fields, became skilled craftsmen and solid business people. As for the coin – I think it… Read more »


Idk no more. All creole isn’t mixed race. Some are pure black or white who adapted to the culture and in region from slave days. But creole makes it not relevant? I’m sad my kids was reading this and asked. Are they not important? What makes it wrong if creole? It’s a coin and we love collecting them. They all got something we like or dislike. We should be talking bout money amout or what could be on it or should but not cause of face. Everyone feels how they will. But I know lousiana has many light skinned blacks… Read more »


What is black person supposed to look like to be real. It’s not like it looks a Disney drawing. It’s from the mind. it’s made up and the artist did a excellent job. Kennedy looks like his nose has a ink pen for a tip of nose. Is he a cartoon. They did good. If you from Louisiana then how u don’t see weman of lighter complexin and softer features like the artist tried to capture here. She don’t look real lol. It’s a imaginary drawing. To prove a point. To open eyes. To bring things more together. But her… Read more »

John Paul Jones

I like it….except maybe not for this 225th coin. The person does look mad. Need to represent other nationalities in our country as well. I do like the wow factor with the stars in the head band and writing. I will purchase one.

John Boland

Great looking coin. I can’t wait.

Seth Riesling

RicardoB –

You make some interesting comments. I have lived in 3 countries & 4 states & have seen & known people of almost every ethnic background. There is beauty & differences everywhere you look if you have an open mind. I have visited New Orleans twice (once for 3 days & once for a week) & the Creole ladies I saw & spoke with all over town were some of the most beautiful, kind & interesting ladies I have ever met. This coin design reminds me too of that comparison.

Happy collecting Ricardo!



RicardoB – Seth I lived in Louisiana like you ( I AM A WHITE MALE ) I saw lots of Ladies from the south and was in New Orleans a lot. I know for a fact Demetrius you need to go down there with open eyes as well as an open mind most of all an open heart just to see the beauty in the Ladies of the South. This coin depicts a Creole Lady of color to a perfect match. I am not trying to start any Bon Fires over this but In my humble opinion the FIRST and… Read more »


Wait, they chose THAT one?
At least they didn’t chose the gaudy one with the circuit board patterns in the back.

Mike Unser (

This article was updated again to include a U.S. Mint video showing coins produced.


The original LOL statue was a black women with a chain on her ankle lt was given to America by the French. The Americans had it changed,


· Was the original model for the Statue of Liberty a black woman? Most versions of the Black Statue of Liberty rumor refer to a cast (c. 1870) of a no longer extant maquette owned by the Museum of the City of New York as proof that “the original model” for the Statue of Liberty was a black woman. The temporal proximity and aesthetic overlap between Bartholdi’s Egyptian proposal and the Statue of Liberty project, and the preliminary nature of the statue’s study models, makes it impossible to rule out an 1870-71 Liberty model that has design origins in Bartholdi’s… Read more »

Seth Riesling

The “regular” media often get things wrong when they rarely report on numismatic news stories. U.S. News & World Report magazine (online version) stated this in their AP news wire story about this new coin: “The gold coin is worth $100”. LOL
Just wait till their readers find out just how much this gold coin will cost them above the nominal legal tender face value of the coin!


one fine dime

Time to turn off the comments, because the following sentiments are starting to be down right nauseating: “This is our first “politically correct” coin.” “4 sets of initials is trite political correctness” “4 sets of initials is a political JOKE on this coin.” “It is obviously being used to send a political message we don’t need” “It would have been better had they left the obverse a blank slate rather than stamp on a Michelle Obama knock-off. Put liberty back on where it belongs. This coin is a disgrace.” “I for one will never have this DISASTER in my collection… Read more »








William flick

If you like it then buy, if you don’t like it then don’t.

Arch Stanton

I would buy 1 for the exact same price as the 2015 liberty but not a cent more.
I hope Trump remembers what he said about changing the $20 bill. Keep Andrew Jackson on it and nix that ugly Harriet Tubman.

Robert W

This coin has some distinctive features that I really like, the raised lettering on the edge is impressive, can’t wait to see designs representing Asian Americans, Latino Americans and Indian Americans and I thrilled to own all four.


one fine dime ‘ absolute imbeciles ‘ REALLY ??????? I came on here to discuss a coin not the color of ones skin or their schooling ???? I have found out in life the farther North one goes the MORE the color of the skin becomes IMPORTANT unlike the south where all that matters is the size of ones HEART !!!!!!!!!! Thanks Millhouse73 you said it perfectly as to the attitude and knowledge of ” one fine dime ” is getting way to PERSONAL to that person for just a coin chat !!!!!!!! Y’ALL HAVE AN AWESOME DAY FOR I… Read more »

Seth Riesling

Just for the record, there have been 8 different commemorative US Mint coins featuring African-Americans since 1946. Four are men whose names are part of the inscriptions. The others depict artist renderings of African-American men, boys, women & girls. The most striking resemblance to the hair on this new beautiful gold coin is on the 2013 Girl Scouts Centennial silver commemorative half dollar. She appears in the middle of the two other girls on the obverse & has a “corn rows” hairstyle. I simply cannot understand why anyone would have a problem with this design, especially since there is a… Read more »


EDIT ON MY POST: What I meant to say is .. “low mintage does NOT always mean high returns because the demand is just not there.” I’m surprised no one caught that. But “politically correct” was noticed! The only reason I mentioned “politically correct” was because it was mentioned before and I meant to question that term being used in the first place. I also quote URBAN DICTIONARY just for laughs. I did say it was a blast to read. The 2016 Silver Liberty Medal at first did not have much interest from most people. As it seems like with… Read more »

Seth Riesling

joera –

Well said my fellow collector!

Happy collecting!



Seth I get an email for every new article and comment posted on this site. On the emails it tells me who posted, the date & time and then the comment posted. I got an email showing your comment: “joera – Well said my fellow collector!” The email was dated: 1/14/2017 @ 8:27 am. Well I clicked on the link to your comment to see if I could see which of my two comments you were talking about. The link took me to the end of these comments. I went to look for your and my post and to my… Read more »

one fine dime

I agree with you Seth that it is very hard to understand why anyone would have a problem with this coin. But it seems certain people are expressing an anger that “Liberty” is being depicted as an african-american, and not simply that an african american is depicted on this coin. (As you note, there have been quite a number of US coins with african americans depicted) For example, this sentiment from ‘Patrick’: “This is right up there with black baby Jesus or black Santa. Lady Liberty is Caucasian. You can’t depict her as anything other than that.” Therefore, the latent… Read more »


The beauty in this coin is truly in the eye of the beholder, just not my eye. William Flick above said it best “If you like it then buy, if you don’t like it then don’t.” Perfect sentiments. And those of you who think it’s about color should take a close look at the first spouse gold coins and medals. After their debut in 2007 and 2008, they have some of the lowest mintages for modern day collectable coins, most below 5k. Why do you think that is? I hesitate to call them ugly because I might offend someone but… Read more »

Bob C

Great coin. As usual, the racists have started whining about how white people are better and how a black woman doesn’t deserve to be on a coin.

Political correctness = treating people with respect


Political Correctness = Tiptoeing around everyone so as not to offend anyone. It has nothing to do with the images portrayed on a coin.