Posted by on 3/12/2019 to
The American Liberty high-relief gold coin and accompanying silver medal program was the brainchild of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) while it was led by former chairman Gary Marks.
Although by law the CCAC is tasked with reviewing coin and medal designs, it is also permitted to make a limited number of recommendations for new programs. CCAC members under Marks’ tenure frequently argued that it was time for a new and modern interpretation of Lady Liberty, rather than endlessly recycling the classic versions that were issued from the Mint’s first coinage in 1793 through the end of Walking Liberty half dollar series in 1947.
The 2015 gold coin featured an obverse by Justin Kunz with a modern-looking Liberty wearing a wreath crown, holding a torch in her right hand and an American flag in her left hand, while the obverse by Paul Balan showed an American eagle in flight gripping a branch in its talons.
This coin is only the second high-relief gold issue in the Mint’s modern era after the 2009 Ultra High Relief double eagle that recreated the 1907 version with modern technology. It did not sell out instantly but sold about two-thirds of its 50,000-mintage during the first week following its July 30 release and the remainder by 2016. It was not a big secondary market winner apart from MS70 examples but over time has maintained its value (initial issue price was $1,590, which fluctuated over time).
The silver medals were an instant sellout of their 25,000-mintage when released in August 2016.
Depending on the grade and condition of this coin, it has a present value of between $1,700 and $5,000.
2017 Lady Liberty
$100 (Gold Eagle)
2017-W American Liberty $100 High-Relief Gold Coin and Silver Medals
The 2015 American Liberty coin and 2016 medals of the same design were intended as the debut of a new series, but the Mint plans to introduce a new series called Virtues of Liberty in 2019. The 2015 issues were followed by the 2017-W American Liberty high-relief gold coin released on April 6 to coincide with the Mint’s 225th anniversary.
The coin received a lot of mainstream press coverage and was the first to feature an African-American female as Liberty on its obverse, shown in a left-facing profile wearing a crown of stars inspired by the Statue of Freedom that rests at the top of the U.S. capitol, a tribute to the emancipation of slaves. On the reverse appears an American eagle in flight.
The coin sold over 14,000 pieces out of the gate, but sales soon slowed and to date it has sold 29,807 coins out of its 100,000-mintage.
Unlike the 2015 Liberty gold coin that was a business strike issue, the 2017 issue was struck in proof. For those who could not afford the roughly $1,700 price tag for the one-ounce gold coin in early 2018, the mint released a $10 face value, one-tenth-ounce gold version that had sold only 25,735 of its 135,000-maximum mintage by the end of 2018.
In both cases, the Mint probably over-anticipated the level of demand and would have been better off with either a lower mintage or perhaps selling it (as some products have been) with orders taken during a limited window. These coins are significant in the annals of modern U.S. coins because they represent a new aesthetic – one that has been embraced to a greater extent than many critics of the approach anticipated.
The silver medal version was sold first as a single medal and later in the year in a four-medal set with different finishes. 32,507 sets of a maximum mintage of 50,000 were sold by the end of 2018 when sales ended.
Depending on the grade and condition of this coin, it has a present value of between $1,700 and $3,000.