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Will Lincoln be popular spouse?

Will the 2010 Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse half-ounce gold coin with the $10 face value outsell that of Abigail Fillmore or Jane Pierce next year?

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 Buchanan’s term?

These questions will begin to be answered as collectors take their initial looks at next year’s 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 Hemphill.

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 Donna Weaver.

On the reverse design, Mrs. Pierce listens to debates while sitting in the visitor’s 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 Gobrecht’s gold $2.50 Liberty Head design that was used 1840-1907. This was current during Buchanan’s Administration.

 The reverse design is by AIP Associate Designer David Westwood. President Buchanan is shown as a young man working as a bookkeeper in his family’s 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 War.
The Mint says inscriptions on the obverses of the three coins are the First Spouse’s 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 purchase.

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 1-5/16” bronze medals that will be sold for $3.50 each.

More Resources:

2010 U.S. Coin Digest, The Complete Guide to Current Market Values, 8th ed.

State Quarters Deluxe Folder By Warmans

Standard Guide to Small-Size U.S. Paper Money, 1928 to Date

Strike It Rich with Pocket Change, 2nd Edition

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