As the US Mint and Treasury is celebrating its 225th anniversary and unveiled a new $100 coin on Thursday, it has announced that for the first time in United States history, Lady Liberty will be a black woman. The Treasury also announced that it is the first in a series of racially diverse coins it will be releasing in the future.

Making History

For the first time in US history, the US Mint and Treasury has announced that Lady Liberty on its upcoming new $100 coin will be portrayed as a woman of color- specifically a black woman.

According to the Coinage act, which passed in 1792, all coins are required to display an “impression emblematic of liberty,” either represented in words or images. Lady Liberty has always been featured as a white woman, and so the new coin, designed by Justin Kunz, has been unveiled to feature a black woman.

The Treasury took to twitter to display the design of the new coin: “Treasury & Mint officials unveiled the 2017 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin!”

“As we as a nation continue to evolve, so does liberty’s representation,” said Elisa Basnight, U.S. Mint chief of staff, at the ceremony unveiling the new coin. “We live in a nation that affords us the opportunity to dream big and try to accomplish the seemingly impossible.”


The new currency is a 24-karat gold coin, and is expected to be released in April 2017. It marks the first in a series of commemorative and racially diverse coins that are yet to be released by the US Treasury.

According to the Treasury in a press release, future portrayals of Lady Liberty will include Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Indian Americans and many others in order “to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States.”