Lady Liberty Portrayed as Woman of Color for 1st Time on US Currency

(ABC NEWS) -- The United States Mint and Treasury have unveiled a new gold coin that portrays Lady Liberty as a woman of color for the first time in American history.

In a press conference Thursday held in the Department of Treasury's "historic" Cash Room, the two departments introduced the 2017 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin, which celebrates 225 years of coins being minted in the U.S.

"We are very proud of the fact that the United States Mint is rooted in the Constitution," said Principal Deputy Director Jeppson. "Our founding fathers realized the critical need for our fledgling nation to have a respected monetary system, and over the last 225 years, the Mint has never failed in its mission."

In "a departure from previous classic designs," the new coin portrays Lady Liberty as a black woman wearing a crown of stars. The coin is inscribed with "1792," for the year the U.S. Mint was established, "2017" and "IN GOD WE TRUST." The reverse side of the coin contains a "bold and powerful eagle in flight," according to the press release.

The 1-ounce coin will be struck in .999 fine 24-karat gold at the West Point Mint facility in New York. It is the first in a series of 24-karat gold coins that will feature designs representing Lady Liberty as Asian-American, Hispanic-American and Indian-American. The coins will be issued every two years.

Last year, the Treasury announced that civil rights activist and abolitionist Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

© 2017 ABC News


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