“Divisive” 2017 American Liberty Silver Medal Outperforms 2016 Versions*

2017 Silver Medal United States Mint

*A lack of a mintage limit may have helped

By CoinWeek News Staff ....
 

First day sales of the 2017 American Liberty U.S. Mint 225th Anniversary Silver Medal totaled 26,833 units, according to Todd Martin, Deputy Chief of the Office of Corporate Communications of the United States Mint. In light of the "controversy" over the medal's African-American Lady Liberty, this is something of a surprise as the figure actually surpasses the 24,440 total first-day sales for last year's medal, struck at both San Francisco (12,219) and West Point (12,221).

Of course, such a reaction should be tempered by the fact that the 2016 medals had a maximum combined mintage limit of 25,000 and both issues were listed as "Currently Unavailable" on the Mint's online catalog within five minutes of going on sale at noon Eastern Time on August 23, 2016.

The 2017 silver medal, struck in a Proof finish exclusively at the Philadelphia Mint, currently has no mintage or household order limits.

It also remains to be seen how well the Mint's upcoming four-medal set will perform. It will include a laser-frosted Enhanced Uncirculated medal from West Point; a regular Uncirculated medal from Denver; another Proof medal--this time from San Francisco; and a Reverse Proof from Philadelphia. All five medals feature the same design as the 2017 American Liberty High-Relief Gold Coin, which features an African-American Liberty on the obverse and a flying eagle on the reverse.

A release date for the set has yet to be determined; CoinWeek will keep you posted.

Design & Specs

The 2017-P American Liberty Proof medal consists of one troy ounce (31.103 g) of .999 fine silver and has a diameter of 1.598 inches (40.600 mm).

The obverse design was created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) artist Justin Kunz. His confident and youthful portrait of Liberty features braided hair and a large diadem of four stars. At first glance it seems an unusual choice, but the diadem is based on similar headgear worn by 19th-century sculptor Thomas Crawford's Statue of Freedom (1857-62) atop the dome of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.. Kunz' initials "JK" are found to the left of Lady Liberty. Mint sculptor Phebe Hemphill engraved the design, and her initials "PH are found on the right.

The year 1792--the first part of the coin's dual date--is inscribed on the left side while the year 2017 is inscribed on the right. The word LIBERTY is inscribed at the top of the obverse, behind Miss Liberty's hair.

The reverse, which features an American bald eagle on the downstroke flying left to right, was designed by AIP artist Chris Costello and engraved by Mint sculptor Michael Gaudioso. The initials "CTC" are found on the bottom of the coin to the left of the eagle's wing, under the "P" mint mark. Gaudioso's initials "MG" are located on the right. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is inscribed most cleanly at the top of the medal.

And unlike the 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary High Relief Gold Coin, the edge is plain.
 


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