First Spouse Gold Coin Series
The First Spouse Gold Coin Series was launched in 2007 to accompany the new series of circulating dollar coins honoring the Presidents. Each year four or five coins were released to honor each First Lady of the United States. The series officially concluded in 2016 with the last issue honoring First Lady Nancy Reagan.
Authorized by the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, each First Spouse Gold Coin is struck in 24 karat and contains one-half ounce of gold. The coins carry a legal tender face value of $10. The obverse of each coin features a portrait of the First Spouse and the reverse carries a scene emblematic of the spouses life or contributions.
The inscriptions on the typical coin will include the order of the Presidency, the dates of the Presidency, the name of the spouse honored, and the required mottoes "E Pluribus Unum" and "In God We Trust". Additionally, the precious metal weight and purity are indicated on the reverse inscriptions.
A subset of coins is created by Presidents who served without a spouse. In these situations, the obverse features an image of Liberty taken from a circulating coin of the Presidents era. The reverse features a scene from the Presidents life. There were only four coins which carry the Liberty designs. Some collectors have chosen to focus on this portion of the series featuring classic and well known designs.
After early excitement about the new series led to a series of rapid sell outs, for a variety of reasons collector interest waned. This had the fortuitous consequence of creating numerous issues with enticingly low mintages. In many cases, coins which were unpopular when issued have gone on to become desirable low mintage rarities.
With the First Spouse Gold Coin series now completed, collectors can look back on this interesting series and all that it had to offer. The designs were incredibly diverse, honoring First Ladies across the generations. Certain issues were popular with collectors for their subject matter, their design, or their mintage levels.
Assembling an entire collection would certainly be a challenge, particularly if both proof and uncirculated versions are included. This would comprise a significant amount of gold and many of the lowest mintage gold coins ever produced.