On August 19, 2021, the United States Mint began accepting orders for the 2021-W American Liberty $100 High Relief Proof Gold Coin (Buy on eBay), which had a mintage and product limit of 12,500 and an initial household order limit of one coin. It was priced at the time at $2,715 and packaged in a black presentation case.
The mintage limit was much lower than prior coins in this series, and because of higher spot gold prices in 2021 in the $2,000 range, the initial issue price was also higher than that of previous coins.
This coin’s obverse design represented a sharp departure from any prior depiction of Liberty until then, which was always featured as a person and typically a female. Instead, the piece has a design of a wild, American Mustang horse that is bucking off a western-style saddle, which was intended to evoke the “throwing off of the yoke of British rule during the American Revolution.” This side was designed by Beth Zaiken, an illustrator and AIP artist, and sculpted by Medallic Artist Craig Campbell of the Mint’s staff.
The design is a bold representation of the determination and power of the American passion for Liberty. David J. Ryder, who was Director of the Mint at the time, said in a March 20, 2019, interview in CoinWeek: “I have stated a number of times that Liberty takes a number of different forms, and there are a lot of interpretations of what Liberty means to a lot of different people. Back to the idea of offering new designs in the context of the 24K gold project, it is my responsibility is to give the Secretary [of the Treasury] as many choices as possible in the form of what Liberty means. If it is a starburst of a firework going off on the Fourth of July or something that, it takes so many different forms, and I am all in favor of changing the design to incorporate the different forms of Liberty, what it means for many different people.”
The reverse design featured a right-facing bust of an American bald eagle with its beak open, designed by AIP designer Richard Masters and sculpted by Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill.
When the design was reviewed in 2020 by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and Committee on Fine Arts, public reaction to it was mixed largely due to confusion about the meaning and symbolism of the horse as a motif for Liberty.
However, when collectors saw images of struck examples of the coin, opinions shifted considerably, with many expressing a very positive view that was reflected in sales of this issue.
First-day sales almost resulted in a sell-out, reaching 11,992. The remaining coins took little time to sell, and the final sales number was 12,470. The price at the time of the final sales was $2,665.
2021 American Liberty Gold Coin Artist Information
- Obverse Sculptor: Craig Campbell (Medallic Artist)
- Obverse Designer: Beth Zaiken (Artistic Infusion Program)
- Reverse Sculptor: Phebe Hemphill (Medallic Artist)
- Reverse Designer: Richard Masters (Artistic Infusion Program)
2021 American Liberty Gold Coin Specifications
- Denomination: $100
- Finish: Proof
- Composition: .9999 fine gold
- Diameter: 1.205 in. (30.61 mm)
- Weight: 1 troy oz. (31.108 g)
- Edge: reeded
- Mint Mark: “W” (West Point)
2021 American Liberty Gold Coin Mintage
- 2023-W American Liberty $100 High Relief Gold Coin: 12,470