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This Week's Letters (5/30/08)

Should the First Spouse $10 gold series be modified to a $5 gold series to make it more affordable?
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From the May 30 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:

Q.Should the First Spouse $10 gold series be modified to a $5 gold series to make it more affordable?

It?s a bit late to think about changing the denomination of the series, don?t ya think? The horse is out of the barn and over the hill into the next county. Collectors who can afford the $5 gold coin may still not be able to still afford the eight or 12 (depending on when the change is made) $10 coins. Meanwhile, $10 gold coin collectors might be wary of higher sales of a lower priced $5 gold coin, higher mintages due to more sales and the confusion that will entail in the future. I think this is just another in a long series of blunders that have occurred in government during eight years of Dubya.

Howard Crane
Hartford, Conn.

The First Spouse should be brought down to a $5 coin to cut costs at $600 plus the $10 coins are getting a bit pricey.

Kyle Stromgren
Yelm, Wash.

I was not too thrilled with the prospect of First Spouse coins. First of all, the spouses never ran the country. Second, some presidents were not married at the time they were elected. Third, why are the first ladies so honored with a $10 gold coin while the president is on a circulating dollar coin, as well as on other coins of values far less than a $10 gold coin.
This is the perplexity of the problem. First, gold is far more expensive. Second, coins with presidents are circulating. Third, the First Spouses are not made for circulation.
If you would allow for it, if we had a coin honoring bread, would it also warrant the need for a coin with a slab of butter. I think not. That is the problem with the First Spouse coins, except that they are worth hundreds more than a $1 coin is worth, the bread and butter are similarly priced and between only a dollar or two difference.
So should the thought of gold coins for each of the presidents be considered as well? Should the First Spouse coins be eliminated? Should the spouse coins be reduced to a $5 gold coin? I think not.
I believe they should be discontinued entirely. Where was the logic in producing the First Spouse coins in the first place?
But, then again this is America, where dreams can come true. This is just my opinion on the issue.

Collin Cagle
W. Jordan, Utah

Issue both series, $5 and $10. Buying two $5 coins requires additional storage space because of the covers the coins come in. The purchaser of the coins should have a choice in this instance.

S. Boyer
Huber Heights, Ohio

Would love to see it changed to a $5 coin versus $10. Would give the average collector a much better coin to afford and collect. It turns my stomach when I read that so many were turned in for melting when the gold was selling for more than was paid for. Now for the ?average? collector the price soars even higher. Do it please. It?s a great idea for collectors to afford.

William Green
Pittsburgh, Pa.

My answer would be absolutely yes. Although the price of gold has dropped drastically in the last month or two, the Mint, of course, has not dropped the price of these coins. I can?t remember any instance of the Mint ever dropping the price of a precious metal coin or coin set when the spot price of the metal drops. They only know how to raise prices.
They are basically bullion coins, and are beautiful, but yes, they should drop the denomination and the size of the coin to a $5 ?half eagle? so more people could afford them. $600+ is a ridiculously inflated price for a half-ounce coin when spot gold is below $900./oz.

Harv Laser
Torrance, Calif.

It would not make any difference...I really think these items a vastly
over priced.

S Foster
Knoxville, TN

Yes! It was a boneheaded move in the first place to create a series that at current prices will cost in the neighborhood of $50,000 to complete. Or even better, make them 1 ounce silver coins! What was Congress thinking??

Frank Sonnenberg
Chester, N.J.

The first spouses should not be made of gold. Maybe Paladium which would have gotten the US Mint to introduce paladium as another precious metal.
Also the four demoninations of St Gaudins. Quarter/Half/Eagle and Double Eagle should have been done in the .9995 fine gold pieces for 2007 to commemorate his designs in 1907. So instead of just the one ounce gold for this year Buffalo, they did not do St Gaudins and the coin community justice.
Do you agree?

Kevin Reinhard
Millbrae, Calif.

I feel that this should not be modified to a $5 gold piece. If a true collector wishes to purchase this coin, he or she will pay the price. As I see it, these coins are being produced to honor the First Spouse and therefore rates the higher denomination.

Wayne Davis
Great Falls, Mont.