2023 Libertas Americana – 1/4 oz Gold Gem Proof
The Libertas Americana, we believe, is the most significant numismatic opportunity we’ve ever seen. The incredible story of the Libertas Americana starts in 1776 with the American Revolution. Shortly after we won our independence, Benjamin Franklin wanted some coins struck to honor our country and our founding fathers. We did not have a mint back then, so Ben Franklin went to Paris, as our ambassador to France, and asked the King and Queen if they would strike the coins and they agreed. Ben Franklin himself actually came up with these designs and we believe, without question, this is the most historically significant and the most beautifully struck piece we’ve ever seen. The obverse design features the first ever appearance of Lady Liberty on a coin. Her flowing hair portrait is featured set against a liberty cap on a pole. (By the way, this is the design that served as the model for the very 1st US coin ever minted: the 1793 Flowing Hair Cent.) The date “4 July 1776” is on the bottom under Lady Liberty. She’s wearing a long flowing gown with a shield in one hand and a spear in the other. She’s standing guard over this beautiful baby, which represents America. The baby is being attacked by a lion, which represents the British. Benjamin Franklin’s design is meant to portray the French protecting a baby America from the British. Which tells the story of our country and our struggle for freedom. The name “Libertas Americana” means Freedom for America.
Ben Franklin placed the original order for these medals in 1781 for 125 pieces in Bronze, 50 in silver, and 2 in gold. Because America was so broke at the time Ben Franklin paid for them out of his own pocket. The silver pieces went to the French and American ambassadors and cabinet ministers. (Harry Bass of the famous Bass collection had one that sold for about $116,000.00 in 1999). The 2 gold pieces went to the King and Queen of France, Louis the 14th and Marie Antoinette and then disappeared during the French Revolution. Speculation is the gold pieces were melted down during the French Revolution. If either of the gold pieces ever surfaced, they would easily be the most valued piece of numismatics in history.
Historians agree the most historically significant were the bronze pieces that were given to George Washington himself to be presented to his outstanding officers, legendary war heroes and every single member of the continental congress.
Over the next few years leading up to the 250th birthday of America in 2026 the Paris Mint will be striking some legal tender coins based on the historic medals of the revolution. The last US milestone was the Bicentennial, which was one of the biggest events in numismatic history. This upcoming milestone is projected to be the single most popular numismatic event in our lifetime.