Since the passage of the Coinage Act in 1792, all coins printed by the U.S. Mint and Treasury have been required to include an “impression emblematic of liberty.” Despite this open-ended description, the ubiquitous Lady Liberty had always been depicted by a white woman on American currency — at least, until now. The new $100 coin, unveiled Thursday to mark the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Mint and Treasury, depicts Lady Liberty as a black woman — and future designs, according to the Mint, will include representations of Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Indian Americans and others so as “to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States.”
“As we as a nation continue to evolve, so does liberty’s representation,” said Elisa Basnight, U.S. Mint chief of staff, at a ceremony commemorating the new 24-karat gold coin. “We live in a nation that affords us the opportunity to dream big and try to accomplish the seemingly impossible.”
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