Designs for the new half-ounce First Spouse gold $10 coins were unveiled Dec. 19 by Mint Director Edmund C. Moy and a Dolley Madison re-enactor in Canton, Ohio., at the National First Ladies Library.
The first coin, that of Martha Washington, will be sold to collectors in May 2007. It will be a companion piece to the base-metal Presidential dollar featuring her husband, George, which will be placed in circulation in February 2007.
?This marks the first time the U. S. Mint has featured women on a consecutive series of coins,? Moy told the crowd.
Eight images, obverse and reverse, of the four 24-karat coins were revealed. Moy said, ?Through this coin series, Americans will learn more about how the First Spouses have served our country.?
The 2007 First Spouse coins will feature the images of Martha Washington, Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison in the order in which their husbands served as President.
Collectors will get a treat with the third issued because of a misfortune suffered by Thomas Jefferson. Because President Jefferson?s wife died in 1782 before he was elected in 1801, a symbolic rendition of Liberty, used on a coin of Jefferson?s era (Draped Bust calf cent: 1800-1808), will be featured on the third First Spouse coin in the series.
The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 authorized the First Spouse coins as the pure gold (.9999 fine) collectible counterparts to the circulating Presidential $1 coins. Because he First Spouse coins have a denomination of $10, but are made of 24-karat gold, their actual market value will greatly exceed face value. Prices for the First Spouse coins, which will be produced in proof and uncirculated versions, will be determined closer to the sale date in May 2007, around Mothers Day.
Bronze duplicate medals of the First Spouse coins will also be available.
The obverse of the coins will feature portraits of the nation?s First Spouses, as well as inscriptions that include their names, the years during which they were the spouse of a President during the President?s period of service, the year of minting or issuance, ?In God We Trust? and ?Liberty.?
Each First Spouse coin will also have a unique reverse design featuring an image emblematic of that person?s life and work, as well as the inscriptions, ?The United States of America,? ?E Pluribus Unum,? ?$10,? ?1/2 oz.? and ?.9999 Fine Gold.?
The obverses of the Martha Washington and Abigail Adams coins were designed and sculpted by Joseph Menna, a U.S. Mint medallic sculptor.
The obverse of the Dolley Madison coin was designed and sculpted by Don Everhart, a U. S. Mint sculptor/engraver.
The Jefferson obverse image of Liberty appeared on the Draped Bust half cent coin from 1800-1808, originally executed by U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Robert Scot. The image was re-sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, a U. S. Mint medallic sculptor.
The Martha Washington reverse was designed by Susan Gamble of Arlington, Va., an Artistic Infusion program master designer. The image was sculpted by Don Everhart, a U.S. Mint sculptor/engraver.
The reverse design depicts the future First Lady sewing a button onto her husband?s uniform jacket. During the Revolutionary War, Martha Washington?s concern for the Colonial soldiers earned their lasting respect and admiration.
The Abigail Adams reverse was designed by Thomas Cleveland of Houston, Texas, an Artistic Infusion program master designer. The image was sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, a U.S. Mint medallic artist.
In one of her most memorable letters, Adams requested that her husband ?remember the ladies? when creating the new Republic. That inscription is on this coin. John Adams acknowledged that Abigail Adams had as much political insight as any of his colleagues, and that he valued her counsel above all others.
The reverse of the Thomas Jefferson coin was designed and sculpted by Charles Vickers, a U.S. Mint sculptor/engraver.
The reverse design depicts Jefferson?s monument, located on the grounds of his Monticello estate. Jefferson is widely recognized for his expertise with the written word. Even in death, Jefferson left no room for interpretation, leaving careful and precise instructions detailing exactly which words would mark his final resting place.
The Dolley Madison reverse was designed by Joel Iskowitz of Woodstock, N.Y., an Artistic Infusion program master designer. The image was sculpted by Don Everhart, a U. S. Mint sculptor/engraver.
The reverse design depicts Dolley Madison, in an act of patriotism, saving the Cabinet papers and the beautiful Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington, when she was forced to flee the White House in advance of oncoming British troops in August 1814.
The First Spouse Coins will be available in May 2007 on the United States Mint?s Web site, www.usmint.gov, or by calling (800) USA-MINT. More information about the new coins is available on the Mint Web site: www.usmint.gov.