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First Spouse Meltdown
by Joseph Bakes

Elizabeth Monroe, wife of President James Monroe, is on the new First Spouse Coin. With the price of gold approaching $1,000 an ounce, the temptation increases to sell gold coins to be melted down.

Coin World reports this week that thousands of the first three First Spouse gold coins, which sold out quickly last year when they were offered by the U.S. Mint, have been melted down by a private concern. Gold was hovering at just over $600 an ounce when those half-ounce coins were sold for between $410.95 and $429.95.

Collectors who are holding the coins may be calculating whether to cash in on the gold value while it is high or to hold on to their stashes in the hope that the value of the remaining coins will increase due to their rarity.

The mint also has suspended sales on some platinum coins due to a spike in the cost of the precious metal.

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