New design proposals submitted for the 2021-W American Liberty, High-Relief .9999-fine gold $100 coin and the 2021-P .999-fine silver medal suggest the allegorical Liberty take the form of a bucking horse. The designs, recently reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, are stirring up a stampede of opinions from the many who prefer the Liberty remain symbolically represented in the more familiar human form, as has been the case since Miss Liberty appeared on the nation’s earliest circulating coins.
The horse design is predicated by the U.S. Mint as “a wild American Mustang horse, bucking off a western-style saddle, evoking the throwing off of the yoke of British rule during the American Revolution.” The equine design proposals, along with other recent non-traditional depictions of Liberty, “present new and modern ideas to transform the iconography associated with American Liberty,” the U.S. Mint continued.
According to the U.S. Mint’s proposal narrative, the majestic Mustang will be depicted on the gold coin and its complementary silver medal before a sunrise and “is presented both as native to this land, yet simultaneously an immigrant to the nation as we know it today. The ancestor to all true horses alive today evolved here in North America. Those horses inexplicably disappeared at the end of the last Ice Age, only to be accidentally re-introduced in their domesticated form by the Spanish in the 1500s, having earlier reached Eurasia by way of the Bering land bridge.”