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Liberty to Return to Coinage?
By Debbie Bradley, Numismatic News
April 26, 2013

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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It’s time for Lady Liberty to once again take center stage on United States circulating coinage.

That’s the feeling of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee as it proposes new designs for the dime, quarter and half dollar.

“For the past 66 years, Liberty has not been on our circulation coinage despite the fact that numerous times those in the numismatic world have called for her return,” said Gary Marks, CCAC chairman.

“But there is a reason she has not come back. It has been the direction of proposals in the past that to return Liberty you have to retire Presidential images. And those Presidential honorees on our coinage all have constituencies that prevent any type of Liberty program from getting any traction.”

And does anyone really want to take Washington off the quarter? he asked.

“This proposal is unique because it calls for co-circulation and production of Presidential and Liberty images,” he said.

It calls for a Liberty dime to be introduced in 2015 along with the Roosevelt dime. The Liberty dime would be produced only for one year.

In 2016, a Liberty quarter would be introduced for one year only, along with the Washington quarter.

Then, in 2017, a Liberty dime with a new design would circulate alongside the Roosevelt dime. And in 2018 a Liberty quarter featuring another new design would circulate for one year along with the Washington quarter.

And so on. Dimes and quarters with new Liberty designs would be introduced in alternating years for perpetuity.

“We want to give our generations an opportunity to artistically express the images of Liberty in the context of today,” Marks said of the reasons behind the changing Liberty designs.

The Liberty half dollar would be part of a numismatic program, Marks said, and would be produced alongside the Kennedy half dollar.

“Because it’s a numismatic product and collectors like series, we envision each new Liberty half dollar design existing for a 10-year period,” he said.

The 2015 new Liberty half dollar would continue for 10 years, and then a new Liberty half dollar design would be introduced and produced for 10 years and so on.”

“What we like about this is that it gives artists a chance to produce modern images of Liberty on a larger coin,” Marks said.

The reverse designs on all of the Liberty coins would be emblematic of American values such as freedom, independence, equality, democracy and justice, he said.

The American Liberty Commemorative Coinage Program, as it is called, would have to receive congressional approval before it could be implemented.


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