Gold Versions of Weinman Coinage Show His Work’s Enduring Popularity

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Adolph A. Weinman designed some of America’s most memorable coinage. A skilled sculptor and engraver, his architectural work is still prominently displayed in monuments and buildings all over United States cities.

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But Weinman is probably best remembered for his medalist and numismatic work. In 1916, the U.S. Mint released three of his designs as circulating currency–each a masterpiece in its own right: the Mercury Dime, the Standing Liberty Quarter, and the Walking Liberty Half.

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In commemoration of the centennial of Weinman’s legendary designs, the mint has issued limited-edition strikes, in .9999 percent gold composition, of each of the three. The Mercury Dime, the first of the three to be released, sold out within an hour. The Standing Liberty Quarter, released with an added one-per-household restriction, still reportedly clogged telephone lines and temporarily disabled the Mint’s order page.

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We’re left to see what kind of reception the Walking Liberty Half–for some, the most beautiful coin in American history–will receive when it’s released later this year. Inevitably, as the largest of the coins, it’ll be most expensive of the issues. But its popularity may still be enough to reproduce the frenzies of the previous two issues.

William Chiriguayo

William Chiriguayo is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at Harvard University. His work centers on the production of United States currency and its role--along with other projections of American influence--on the expansion of United States territorial and cultural empire.

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