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Liberty on Coins Goal of Bill
By Numismatic News
July 15, 2013

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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Could putting Liberty themes on the nation’s dimes, quarters and half dollars reduce the nation’s budget deficit?

Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky and four co-sponsors of legislation introduced June 27 in the U.S. House of Representatives hope so.

They target $100 million of additional seigniorage a year as their rationale for asking for the new designs. Seigniorage is the profit made by the government based on the difference between the cost of producing the three denominations and their face value.

If passed the law would take effect in 2015. That would begin a cycle of new Liberty dime designs every other year forever in 2015, 2017, 2019, etc. Liberty quarter designs would commence in 2016, 2018, 2020, etc.

However, at the same time the Roosevelt dime would continue to be produced and the America the Beautiful quarter series would also continue.

The proposed Liberty half dollar would begin in 2015 and be used for 10 years. A second Liberty design would be implemented during a second 10-year period.

At the same time, the Kennedy half dollar would continue in production.

On the new Liberty dime, the legislation says the obverse should have designs emblematic and allegoric of the concept of American Liberty.

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The dime reverse could show various possibilities. They are the American bald eagle, a fasces (as on the Mercury dime), a torch of knowledge, a device emblematic of The Union, or a device that depicts one or more American values like independence, peace, strength, equality, democracy and justice.

The Liberty quarter dollar designs would follow the same parameters as the dime.

The Liberty half dollar would be similar, with the addition of a proviso that to be considered would be the adoption for the Liberty half dollar of Frank Gasparro’s Liberty Head design intended for use on the smaller dollars that began production in 1979. It was never used as it was replaced by Susan B. Anthony, much to the disappointment of coin collectors.

Silver versions of the new coins would also be produced for sale to coin collectors. However, it would be .999 fine rather than the standard .900 fine coin silver of the current silver proof set.

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