1986 Statue of Liberty Gold $5 NGC MS 70


This coin was first struck on October 18, 1985 with production continuing through 1986. The Statue of Liberty gold coin was authorized in commemoration of the centennial of the Statue of Liberty.


The 1986 Statue of Liberty $5 Gold Coin was issued in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. The program received an enthusiastic public response, resulting in a complete sell out of the maximum authorized mintage for the gold coins.

The obverse design features a close view of the face and crown of the statue of Liberty. Inscriptions include the date “1986” above and the word “Liberty” to the left of the image. On the reverse is a depiction of a bald eagle in flight. Around the outer circumference of the coin are inscriptions “United States of America” and the denomination “Five Dollars” interrupted by groups of six and seven stars. An inner circumferential arrangement includes additional inscriptions “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust”. The designs for the coin were by Elizabeth Jones, the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, with part of the initial modeling for the reverse credited to Philip Fowler.

The coins were available in either proof or uncirculated versions, both struck at the West Point Mint. The coins were sold individually or as part of complete sets. The Three Coin Set, either uncirculated or proof, included the half dollar, silver dollar, and $5 gold coins. The Six Coin Set included both uncirculated and proof versions of each coin.

Recipient Organization: Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.  

As specified in Public Law 99-61, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. was to use the funds collected from coin sale surcharges to restore and renovate the Statue of Liberty and the facilities used for immigration at Ellis Island and to establish an endowment that would ensure the continued upkeep and maintenance of these monuments.

NGC Coin Grading Scale

NGC uses the internationally accepted Sheldon grading scale of 1 to 70, which was first used in the United States in the late 1940s. This scale was adopted by NGC when it began operations in 1987 and is considered to be the industry standard. Below are NGC’s grading standards for each numeric grade as well as major strike types and designations.

What is a 70?

NGC defines a Mint State or Proof 70 coin as having no post-production imperfections at 5x magnification.

Strike Type

NGC uses two-letter codes before a coin’s numeric grade to describe its method of production and overall appearance. The most common are MS for Mint State coins (those struck for circulation) and PF for Proof coins (those struck for collectors). Another strike type is SP for Specimen, which describes a coin that falls short of the definition for actual Proofs but are superior to the normal currency issues.

MS Mint State. Coins struck in the same format as circulation issues. Applies to grades 60 to 70.
PF Proof. Coins struck in a special format for collectors.
SP Specimen. A hybrid between Mint State and Proof.

Numeric Grades

NGC uses a numeric grade to succinctly describe a problem-free coin’s condition. The available numeric grades range from 1 to 70 based on an internationally recognized scale developed in the 1940s. As the numeric grade increases, a coin’s condition is considered to be better. Some numbers are skipped below the grade of 60, which is the threshold for a coin to be considered Uncirculated.

MS/PF 70 A coin with no post-production imperfections at 5x magnification.
MS/PF 69 A fully struck coin with nearly imperceptible imperfections.
MS/PF 68 Very sharply struck with only miniscule imperfections.
MS/PF 67 Sharply struck with only a few imperfections.
MS/PF 66 Very well struck with minimal marks and hairlines.
MS/PF 65 Well struck with moderate marks or hairlines.

Plus & Star

NGC uses the Plus (+) and Star () designations to distinguish coins at the high end of their assigned grade and/or with exceptional eye appeal for their assigned grade. All coins are evaluated for the Plus and Star designations as part of the normal NGC coin grading process, and they are assigned automatically for no additional fee.

+ (NGC Plus Designation) NGC assigns a plus sign to coins at the high end of their assigned grade, approaching the quality requirements for the next grade. For example, a coin graded NGC MS 64 is close to the quality of a coin graded NGC MS 65.
(NGC Star Designation) NGC assigns its trademarked Star Designation to coins with exceptional eye appeal for their assigned grade.

Strike Characters


Strike characters are used to describe how well an area of a coin is struck and when information is of specific interest to collectors. For example, strike characters can describe the degree of red luster on a copper coin’s surface (BN, RB and RD), the degree of contrast on a Proof coin (Cameo and Ultra Cameo) or other distinctive features, such as FB for Full Bands on a Mercury Dime.