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2016 Walking Liberty Centennial Gold coin

2016 Walking Liberty Centennial Gold coin

The 2016 Walking Liberty Centennial Gold coin will be released by the U.S. mint on November 17th 2016. The Mercury Dime Gold coin released in April 21st and the Standing Liberty Gold coin released in September 8th 2016 were instant successes. All three coins have beautiful designs and because of the history behind the 1916 re-design of the dime, quarter and the half-dollar, most collectors have been enthusiastic about them.  The 2016 Walking Liberty Centennial Gold coin will complete the trio of Centennial coins released this year and is by far the most anticipated coin by collectors.

1916 Walking Liberty Half-dollar – The design history

                                                                                                            

The Dime, Quarter and the Half Dollar were subjected to a change of design in 1916. It was initiated by the Director of the US Mint Robert W. Woolley who was under the mistaken impression that the coin designs need to be updated every 25 years by law. Before asking external sculptors to design the coins, long-time Mint Engraver Charles E. Barber was asked to submit designs. The Commission of Fine arts was not happy with the designs and Woolley decided to employ sculptors Adolph Weinman, Hermon MacNeil and Albin Polasek instead. Of the submitted sketches from the three sculptors, Adolph Weinman’s designs for the Half Dollar and Dime were selected. Hermon MacNeil’s design was used for the Standing Liberty Quarter. (More about the Standing Liberty Centennial Gold coin here)

For the Half dollar’s obverse, it’s said that Weinman drew inspiration from the French “Sower” coin designed by Oscar Roty. But the Walking Dollar depicting a Liberty striding towards the dawn of a new era is a true symbol of the American dream. In the words of Secretary Mcdoo, Liberty is “…carrying branches of laurel and oak, symbolical of civil and military glory. The hand of the figure is outstretched in bestowal of the spirit of liberty. The reverse of the half dollar shows an eagle perched high upon a mountain crag, his wings unfolded, fearless in spirit and conscious of his power. Springing from a rift in the rock is a sapling of mountain pine, symbolical of America.” [1]

2016 Walking Liberty Centennial Gold Coin

The U.S. Mint decided in November 2015, that the 1916 Silver coins – Half Dollar, Quarter and the Dime would be commemorated in the Gold versions. Minted in the West Point mint, the Walking Liberty Centennial Gold coin would be a faithful rendition of the Walking Liberty Half Dollar designed by Adolph Weinman. It would be a half-ounce of pure gold in honor of the 1916 Half dollar. It has a mintage of 70,000 and a house-hold limit of 3.

The obverse features the portrait of Liberty striding forward towards the rising sun, with  inscriptions “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “2016” and the artist’s initials, “AW.” The reverse shows the eagle with the inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “AU 24K,” “1/2 oz.,” and “HALF DOLLAR”.

References

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_Liberty_half_dollar#Design

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