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BYU professor behind groundbreaking coin design

(KUTV) The United States Mint is celebrating its 225th anniversary with a new commemorative coin.

It is the image of Lady Liberty wearing a crown of stars. This image, unlike the others emblazoned on the front of coins in the past, is different. It is the image of the Lady portrayed as a woman of color. Brigham Young University art professor Justin Kunz is behind the design.

He said the bosses at the mint told him they wanted the new image to capture the diverse heritage of the country. They gave him no other directions, and he let his creative mind come up with the portrait.

“It's meaningful I think, partly because of the work I’ve put in is going somewhere; it's going to be seen and it's going to be part of our culture,” Kunz said.

The coin was unveiled Thursday at the U.S. Department of Treasury and subsequently displayed on Twitter. Most of the comments have been positive, but a small portion have made disparaging remarks. Kunz says that is unfortunate but expected.

“There's always some unhappy campers and haters on the internet but you’re going to have that with anything that's new and different and controversial, but overall I think the receptions been really good.”

Kunz, who lives in Lindon, said this coin marks an important milestone, and he downplays his part in it’s creation. “I’ll let others figure out what my place in history is, I just want to do the best work I’m capable of and reach people and make something that’s' meaningful,” Kunz said.

The coin will be available in april. Its face value is $100 dollars but will cost more than $1,500 depending on the cost of gold.

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