The United States Mint is about to launch a three-year platinum proof coin series depicting the unalienable rights cited in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Created by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) designer Justin Kunz, obverse designs in this series are not only stunning, but tell a story brimming with symbolism.
For example, the 2018 coin, which has an official release date of January 25, features “Life” personified by Lady Liberty teaching a small child to sow seeds in a field. According to the U.S. Mint’s narrative, the sword she carries symbolizes the power to defend life. The furrowed earth represents the forethought and labor required to sustain life. The tree and stream represent nature, suggesting the need to be good stewards of the environment.
The inscriptions “Life” in 2018, “Liberty” in 2019, and “Happiness” in 2020 are likenesses of the actual handwritten words from the Declaration of Independence.
The reverse design for all three coins in the series depicts an eagle in flight with an olive branch in its talons. The design was conceived by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) designer Patricia Lucas-Morris.
Each coin in the “Preamble to the Declaration of Independence Platinum Proof Coin Series” weighs one ounce and is struck in 99.95% platinum. The coins have a face value of $100, although the current spot price of platinum is $967 per ounce. Prices for the coins will reflect the prevailing price of the precious metal, plus a modest premium to cover minting, distribution and marketing costs. They measure 32.7mm (1.28 inches) in diameter.
The 2019 obverse design portrays Lady Liberty keeping watch over prairies, lakes and mountains as pioneers head westward. The wild terrain featured in the background evokes the quintessential American spirit to explore new territory and the freedom to pursue new landscapes, new ideas and new ways of life. In the foreground, Lady Liberty’s lips are parted, suggesting freedom of speech. Her torch is an emblem of the guiding light that liberty provides, while the book represents the rule of law.
The 2020 obverse design depicts Lady Liberty harvesting the fruits of her labor with a young girl at play nearby. The overflowing cornucopia she carries is a symbol of the physical, intellectual and spiritual bounty only liberty makes possible. The home, orchard and silo represent American hopes, values and aspirations and bring to a close the narrative told throughout the series.
The U.S. Mint celebrated its 225th anniversary in 2017.
Credits: Images via usmint.gov.