17 August 2023
A coin marking the freedom of the press is the latest in the five-year First Amendment to the United States Constitution platinum proof coin series, which began in 2021 and ends in 2025.
Part of the American Eagle coin programme, each issue in the series reflects one of the five freedoms in the First Amendment – ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’
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Featuring 99.95% platinum proof coins, the series uses the lifecycle of the oak tree from seedling to a mighty oak as a metaphor for the country’s growth as a nation that values freedom. Liberty grows into a thing of strength and beauty from the seed – the Bill of Rights. Each of the freedoms listed in the First Amendment contributes to the growth and development of the nation.
The obverse design of the $100 coin portrays the branch of a mature oak tree, with acorns amidst the inscription ‘WITH FREEDOM OF THE PRESS LIBERTY BEARS FRUIT’. This series features the reverse design introduced for the 2018–20 Preamble to the Declaration of Independence series, which depicts an eagle in flight with an olive branch in its talons. It also bears the mintmark of the West Point mint.
Joseph Menna, the sculptor of the obverse design, became the 14th chief engraver of the United States Mint in February 2019, having joined the mint in 2005.