In 2009 the United States Mint commemorated the work of master engraver Augustus Saint-Gaudens by painstakingly re-creating his 1907 double eagle gold design into a new high relief gold coin designed for collectors. The coin was dated 2009 and had a full ounce of gold, despite its diameter of only 27 mm (as opposed to more than 37 mm for most other one ounce gold coins minted in the United States.)
When this original high relief gold coin was issued, collectors scrambled to obtain the low mintage .9999 fine gold coins. The secondary market started off with very high premiums for these new coins, and five years later the premiums are still at way above issue price. This retention of premium value signifies a very successful issue.
On the heels of the first successful high relief gold coin issue, the U.S. Mint decided to add a new series of coins that would expand the breadth of the range of products from which collectors could choose. Their research proved that high relief coins were popular with collectors, so the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts began accepting designs for consideration in beginning this series with the 2015 issue.
The new series of high relief gold coins is called the “American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin” series. Like the original high relief gold coin of 2009, the issues in this new series are .9999 fine gold and have a mass of one troy ounce. They also have a smaller diameter than most one-ounce gold coins at 30.61 mm.