Lady Liberty will be portrayed as an African American for the first time in U.S. history, the U.S. Mint announced Thursday. The $100, 24-karat gold coin, which will be inscribed with “1792” for the year of the Mint’s establishment and “2017” marking its 225th anniversary, is expected to be released in April. Though Lady Liberty has been previously featured on U.S. currency, the design has always depicted a white woman. Elisa Basnight, the U.S. Mint chief of staff, said of the new design: “Lady Liberty as depicted in coinage throughout the years is modeled after our society’s continued evolution. As we as a nation continue to evolve, so does Liberty’s representation.” The Mint said the new coin, which was designed by Justin Kunz, is the first in a series of coins that will feature depictions of Lady Liberty representing Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Indian Americans, and others who “reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States.” In April, the Treasury Department announced that Harriet Tubman, the African American woman and iconic Underground Railroad conductor who helped hundreds of slaves escape to freedom, will replace Andrew Jackson, the U.S.’ seventh president and a slave owner, as the face of the $20 bill.
— United States Mint (@usmint) January 12, 2017