It’s been almost 100 years since the silver Mercury dime, Standing Liberty quarter and Walking Liberty half dollar were introduced in 1916.
To celebrate that anniversary, the U.S. Mint plans to produce gold coins of the same size and design in 2016.
The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and Commission of Fine Arts were given updates on those plans when they met separately June 18 in Washington, D.C.
“Everybody thinks it’s wonderful to commemorate these iconic designs,” said Mary Lannin, newly appointed chairman of the CCAC.
And although some people would like to see the designs produced in platinum as well, Lannin said the feeling is that gold coins will be more successfully sold.
The 2016 coins are to be offered in .9999 fine (24-karat) gold at the same denominations – 10 cents, 25 cents and 50 cents – as the original coins. Because the composition of the coin must be shown on bullion coins, the designs for each of the three coins shows the composition designated as “AU 24K.”
And to keep with authenticity, the Standing Liberty quarter design by Hermon A. MacNeil that showed a bare-breasted Liberty is the design selected by the Mint for the 2016 gold coin.
There had been speculation that the Mint might default to the more modest design of Liberty covered by a chain mail vest that replaced the original design in 1917 and subsequent years.
The goal is to stay as close as possible to the original artwork.
“The Mint is going though all of its boxes and files looking for plasters of the original designs so they can replicate them as much as possible,” Lannin said.
To date, no decision has been made on where the coins will be minted, although the images presented by the Mint include a Denver mintmark.
In 1916, the Mercury dime and Walking Liberty half dollar were minted at all three mints; the Standing Liberty quarter was only minted in Philadelphia.
Lannin said a production schedule has not yet been set.