It is part of a series of commemorative coins that will be released every two years. Future ones will show Lady Liberty as Asian, Hispanic and American Indian “to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States,” the Mint said.

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The U.S. Mint will release a commemorative gold coin in April that will feature Lady Liberty as a black woman, marking the first time the U.S. symbol has been depicted as anything other than white on the nation’s currency.

The coin, with a $100 face value, will commemorate the 225th anniversary of the Mint’s coin production, the Mint and the Treasury Department said Thursday. Going on sale April 6, it will be 24 karat and weigh about an ounce.

It is part of a series of commemorative coins that will be released every two years. Future ones will show Lady Liberty as Asian, Hispanic and American Indian “to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States,” the Mint said.

The announcement comes at a pivotal cultural moment, a week away from a transfer of power and after a bruising election dominated by debates about immigration, race and political correctness.
Lady Liberty is among the most potent of U.S. symbols. Her best-known depiction, a gift from France in 1886, stands in New York Harbor, a giant statue of a woman with white European features beckoning with a lamp to the refugees of the world.

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The Treasury Department said it was looking “to the future by casting Liberty in a new light, as an African-American woman wearing a crown of stars, looking forward to ever-brighter chapters in our nation’s history book.”

Do not expect to see anyone spending the coins at the store. Coins like this do not circulate for everyday use, but are minted for collectors in limited quantities. There will be 100,000 of them with the black Lady Liberty. They will sell for far more than face value, depending on the value of gold, currently more than $1,000 an ounce.

“As we as a nation continue to evolve, so does Liberty’s representation,” Elisa Basnight, the chief of staff at the Mint, said at a presentation in Washington. “We live in a nation which affords us the opportunity to dream big and try and accomplish the seemingly impossible.”

The coin’s head was designed by Justin Kunz and engraved by Phebe Hemphill, and it shows a profile of Lady Liberty with a crown of stars that holds back her hair. The tail shows an eagle in flight.

Women, in generic depictions or historic ones, have been underrepresented on U.S. currency. Last year, after a public campaign to put a woman on the $10 bill, the treasury secretary, Jack Lew, announced a broad remaking of the nation’s paper currency — the bills that, unlike a $100 coin, circulate among many Americans every day.

Harriet Tubman, the abolitionist and former slave, will appear on the $20 bill, and women and civil-rights leaders will be added to the $5 and $10 bills. Tubman will be the first woman featured on a U.S. paper currency since Martha Washington in the late 19th century.

Women have, occasionally, also appeared on circulated U.S. coins. The suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony appeared on $1 coins from 1979 to 1981, and Helen Keller appeared on the reverse image of the Alabama state quarter in 2003. Sacagawea, the Shoshone guide who led Lewis and Clark to the West Coast, appeared on the $1 coin that has been minted since 2000.