For the First Time Ever, Lady Liberty is a Black Woman on a U.S. Coin


For the first time ever, there will be a black woman on a U.S. coin, and she’s gorgeous.

According to CNN, the U.S. Mint and Treasury just announced that it would be releasing a new $100 gold coin featuring Lady Liberty, and for the first time on an official U.S. coin, Lady Liberty will be portrayed as a black woman.

She has a toga and a wreath of stars in her hair, and her expression exudes determination and composure. The back of the coin features a flying eagle. It”s 24-karat gold and worth $100. It’s being released in honor of the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Mint, and this Lady Liberty is only the first of a series of Lady Liberty coins designed to celebrate the diversity of the United States.

“The 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin is the first in a series of 24-karat gold coins that will feature designs which depict an allegorical Liberty in a variety of contemporary forms-including designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Indian-Americans among others-to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States,” the U.S. Mint said in a press release. It’s a great move, and not just because the coin is exceedingly pretty. Representation matters, inclusivity matters, and the diversity of the United States should be celebrated and championed.

Harriet Tubman is supposed to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill by 2020, but President-elect Donald Trump previously referred to the decision to put her on the $20 was “pure political correctness,” so there’s some concern that she might lose her spot before she ever makes it into circulation.

At the moment, the Sacagawea dollar is the only coin in circulation with a person of color on it. These Lady Liberty coins are legal tender and could be used for purchases, though they are commemorative coins, and it seems more likely that people will hold onto them and collect them and just treasure them for posterity, rather than spending them on groceries. (I do love the idea of spending these and getting them out into the world, though. I want to carry around a bag full of them like a Medieval wizard with a pouch of gold coins.)


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