The nation is fixated on Washington, D.C. this week, as Cabinet confirmation hearings, late night attacks on health care and surprise Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremonies dominate the news. But the United States Mint ended the week with an unexpected innovation.
Yesterday (January 12), the Mint unveiled the design for the 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin and made it clear that the future of liberty is Black. For the first time since she first appeared on the coin in the last 1790s, Lady Liberty will be created in the image of an African-American woman with braids. The 24-karat gold coin will be released on April 6, and is the first in a series of that will depict women of color, including Asian-American and Latinx women. The subsequent coins will be released every other year. Silver medals with the same designs will also be sold to the public.
“The coin demonstrates our roots in the past through such traditional elements as the inscriptions ‘United States of America,’ ‘Liberty, ‘E Pluribus Unum’ and ‘In God We Trust.’ We boldly look to the future by casting Liberty in a new light, as an African-American woman wearing a crown of stars, looking forward to ever brighter chapters in our nation’s history book,” Rhett Jeppson, principal deputy director of the U.S. Mint wrote in a blog post about the new coin.
Watch the quick Facebook video below for a behind the scenes look at the production of the coin.