Will Lincoln Be Popular Spouse
By David C. Harper
the 2010 Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse
half-ounce gold coin with the $10 face value
outsell that of Abigail Fillmore or Jane Pierce
Or will the three First Ladies all lose out to
the Liberty Head $2.50 gold coin design used as
a stand-in for the absent First Lady of
President James Buchananís term?
These questions will begin to be answered as
collectors take their initial looks at next
yearís First Spouse gold coin designs released
by the U.S. Mint in late 2009.
The first of the four new designs will honor
Abigail Fillmore. Her dignified three-quarters
facing portrait showing her hair in the curls of
the period, as well as lace cap, was done by
United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe
The reverse shows Mrs. Fillmore shelving books
in the library that she established at the White
House. This design was done by Mint Artistic
Infusion Program Master Designer Susan Gamble.
An equally evocative portrait of Jane Pierce
shows her in a three-quarters portrait facing
right. It was created by AIP Master Designer
On the reverse design, Mrs. Pierce listens to
debates while sitting in the visitorís gallery
of the Old Senate Chamber in the U.S. Capitol
Building. Weaver did this design as well.
The third issue of the year depicts Christian
Gobrechtís gold $2.50 Liberty Head design that
was used 1840-1907. This was current during
The reverse design is by AIP Associate Designer
David Westwood. President Buchanan is shown as a
young man working as a bookkeeper in his
familyís small country store in Pennsylvania.
The obverse of the Mary Todd Lincoln First
Spouse coin also was designed by Hemphill.
A wartime theme is used on the reverse. It was
done by AIP Master Designer Joel Iskowitz. It
shows Mrs. Lincoln giving flowers and books to
Union soldiers who were wounded in the Civil
The Mint says inscriptions on the obverses of
the three coins are the First Spouseís name, the
date and order of her term as first spouse, the
year of minting or issuance, and the
inscriptions IN GOD WE TRUST and LIBERTY.
On the reverse, the inscriptions UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 oz. and
.9999 FINE GOLD are featured. They are pretty
standard stuff, but as the United States issues
more and more $10 coins of varying sizes and
weights, it is important.
Currently there are three U.S. $10 sizes. The
old eagle size used 1838-1933, which was
slightly less than half an ounce; the current
quarter-ounce American Eagle and Buffalo coins
and the half-ounce First Spouse. It might be
easy to write off the first of those three
except the old $10 size was used for
commemoratives in 1984 and 2003.
Sales dates for the 2010 First Spouse coins had
not be revealed as of press time.
For more information, visit http://www.usmint.gov/catalog,
or telephone (800) USA-MINT to learn when the
2010 First Spouse coins will be available for
The Mint says pricing will be based on the
United States Mint pricing structure, which is
explained at the top of the First Spouse Gold
Coin home page at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog.
The new designs also will be featured on 1-5/16Ē
bronze medals that will be sold for $3.50 each.