If you wanted to buy a 2017-W American Liberty High Relief Gold Proof $100 Coin, but could not afford the substantial price, you may now be able to secure the historic design after all! The U.S. Mint has released a 2017 Silver Liberty Medal with the same beautiful design of Lady Liberty with features of an African-American woman.
Last year, when the 2016 American Liberty 1 oz. Silver Proof Medals were launched by the Mint, they sold out in just six minutes. Avoid missing out on these 2017 releases by placing your order now with MCM.
The American Liberty Silver Medal program was designed as a complement to the high-relief gold coins that debuted in 2015, which sported the very first modern depictions of Liberty on U.S. Mint coinage. Unlike other medals the Mint issues, these American Liberty Medals bear a number of similarities to the renowned American Silver Eagle series:
Despite these similarities, there are several key differences that leave the American Liberty Medals quite separate from American Silver Eagles:
Additionally, the medals are not struck in high relief as the gold coins are. According to the U.S. Mint, they acted on the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) recommendation that the medals be issued on the same size planchets as Silver Eagles. To strike them in high relief, they would have had to be issued on smaller planchets, based on existing U.S. Mint capacity to produce high relief pieces.
The medal program, like the accompanying gold coins, were originally proposed by CCAC. It was a part of that body’s effort to promote greater artistic excellence on U.S. coins and medals and showcase the artistic talents of American medallic artists with an annual series of silver medals. The group also suggested the possibility of pairing the medals for sale with a special Silver Eagle not available in another product, but so far the Mint has not done that.
In October 2016, the U.S. Mint held a forum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during which it discussed some of the Mint’s plans for the coming year. One of those plans included issuing a special four-medal American Liberty set instead of just two proof medals as they did last year. In April of 2017 year, they also announced that in addition to the set, there will be a single proof medal sold separately.
While we don't know many details, we do know that the set will contain a reverse proof medal from the Philadelphia Mint, a standard proof from the San Francisco Mint, an uncirculated, or burnished, medal from the Denver Mint and an enhanced uncirculated medal from the West point Mint. The Philadelphia Mint will also be striking a standard proof, which will be the one sold separately.
The new medals were unexpectedly displayed on March 30 at the Whitman Exposition in Baltimore, Maryland at the U.S. Mint’s booth there, and reactions from most people who saw them were very positive.
Like the $100 gold coin issued in April, the 2017 American Liberty Silver Medals have the dual intent of being issued to honor the Mint’s 225th anniversary, a landmark event for the world’s largest Mint, and to be the first in a series of designs depicting Lady Liberty through different races.
The fantastic creations of U.S. Mint designers and sculptors used on the 2017 American Liberty High Relief Proof Gold $100 Coin are displayed like never before on these 2017 American Liberty Silver Medals. The design now spreads over another 10mm of diameter, in various new premium finishes!
The obverse design of the American Liberty Silver Medals was created by a member of the U.S. Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program (AIP), Justin Kunz. The historic design of Liberty with the features of an African-American woman is, again, brought to life. She is shown facing left, with a crown of stars on her head that is similar to what can be found on the Statue of Freedom. Kunz design was sculpted by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
Credit is given to both artists of this beautiful design through their initials, “JK” and “PH” on either side of the image. Around the design, “L I B E R T Y,” “1792” and “2017” are inscribed.
The reverse, designed by AIP artist Chris T. Costello, stays true to classic U.S. coins with an eagle on the reverse. It is pictured frozen in-flight, its wings pushing air downward in a powerful stroke. This design was engraved by Michael Gaudioso, U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver.
Both designer and sculptor receive credit for their work through their initials “CTC” and “MG” on either side of the image. Above the design is the legend “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” To the left, under the eagle’s sweeping wing, is the location where the mark of whatever U.S. Mint facility struck it, be it “P,” “S,” “D” or “W,” will reside.
To better understand why the CCAC and the other body that reviews designs for U.S. coins and medals, the Commission on Fine Arts (CFA), chose the designs they did for the 2017 American Liberty High Relief Proof Gold $100 Coin and these 2017 American Liberty Silver Medals, it is useful to review what several CCAC members said about them during their March 15, 2016 meeting.
Chair Mary Lanin noted, “We have an opportunity, all of us, to make a difference in applying a new perspective and to broaden the view of Lady Liberty which up to this point has been cast in a European classical mold. There are three things that we should keep in consideration: We should be inclusive of the fact that there are many races that make up the United States. We should be mindful that each of us has our own ideal of what a woman or Liberty should look like, and we may need to broaden that. And we should be sensitive when we make our choice that the characteristics are matching those ideals.”
In addition, member Donald Scarinci explained why he favored the designs with these comments:
The 2017 American Liberty Silver Medals are sure to be one of the most important and popular programs of the U.S. Mint for the year, and they are also likely to stand the test of time as silver medals that took American medallic art into a new era.