US releases first coin with African-American Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty, as depicted on a $100 commemorative coin in 2017, will be an African-American woman, the US Treasury Department announced.

The 24-karat gold coin honors the U.S. Mint on its 225th anniversary. While the allegorical Liberty, typically taking the form of a woman, is a common theme on U.S. coins, stamps and in government statuary, the announcement Thursday marks the first time she deliberately has African-American features.

The design was unveiled at the National Archives in Washington.

The director of the U.S. Mint, Rhett Jeppson, writing on the Treasury Department’s website, said the design is meant to “look to the future by casting Liberty in a new light, as an African-American woman wearing a crown of stars.”

The coin is the first in a series of commemorative gold coins the Treasury Department will release every two years. Each will depict the symbolic female Liberty as an Asian American, Indian American and Hispanic American, among other examples of ethnic and cultural diversity.


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