Entries from December 2009 ↓

First Spouse Coin Designs Unveiled for 2010

The United States Mint has released the designs for the upcoming 2010 First Spouse Gold Coins. These issues will cover the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th Presidencies of the United States. The coins will feature three First Ladies and one of the “Liberty” designs issued for James Buchanan who did not marry.

The three spouse coins feature a portrait of the First Lady on the obverse paired with a reverse design featuring a scene or image emblematic of their lives or work.


Abigail Fillmore First Spouse Coin
13th Presidency

The Abigail Fillmore gold coin reverse features an image of her shelving books in the White House Library. She had purchased the first volumes for the White House collection with an appropriation received from Congress. Designer of the obverse was Phebe Hemphill with the reverse by Susan Gamble.


Jane Pierce First Spouse Coin
14th Presidency

The Jane Pierce First Spouse Gold Coin features an image of the First Lady watching Senate debates within the US Capitol Building. She is known to have sat to listen to the heated debates on the topic of slavery. The obverse and reverse designs are by Donna Weaver.


James Buchanan’s Liberty Gold Coin
15th Presidency

The James Buchanan’s Liberty coin features the image of Liberty used for the Liberty Head $2.50 Gold Quarter Eagle, originally designed by Christian Gobrecht. This represents the fourth coin in the Liberty sub set of coins, issued for Presidents who served without a spouse. The reverse features a young James Buchanan working as a bookkeeper in the family store. This was designed by David Westwood.


Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse Coin
16th Presidency

The final First Spouse release for the year 2010 will feature Mary Todd Lincoln. This is expected to be a popular issue, as she was the wife of President Abraham Lincoln, a figure popular in history and numismatics. The reverse depicts the First Lady visiting some wounded Union soldiers bringing flowers and books. This was designed by Joel Iskowitz. The obverse was designed by Phebe Hemphill.

Louis Braille Silver Dollar Sales End

On Friday, December 11, 2009 sales of this year’s Louis Braille Silver Dollar Commemorative Coin officially ended at the United States Mint. The coins had gone on sale March 26, 2009.

Louis Braille Silver dollar

The obverse coin design has a portrait of Louis Braille designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The reverse of the coin features a scene of a child reading Braille in front of a bookcase. Readable Braille characters are also featured with the letters “BRL”. This is the first time that readable Braille has appeared on a United States Coin. The reverse was designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Joseph Menna.

Recent figures indicate that about 220,000 coins have been sold out of the maximum 400,000. Surcharges added to the cost of each coin ill be paid to the Natoinal Federation of the Blind for programs to promote Braille literacy.

This year, the US Mint issued commemorative coins for Louis Braille and Abraham Lincoln. Next year commemorative coins will feature the Boy Scouts of America and Disabled American Veterans.

Margaret Taylor First Spouse Coin

The final release of the First Spouse Gold Coin series came last week, when the US Mint released the coin honoring Margaret Taylor. The one half ounce 24 karat gold coins were released on December 3, 2009.

Margaret Taylor Gold Coin

Margaret Taylor was the wife of the 12th President Zachary Taylor. For 30 years, she followed her husband during his military career, even going to hardship outposts and living in tents, cabins, and forts.

The obverse of the Margaret Taylor First Spouse Coin features her portrait, the order of the Presidency, and the years she was First Spouse. The reverse of the coin depicts the First Lady in her younger years as she nursed wounded soldiers returning from the battlefield during the Seminole War.

The coins carried the high issue price of $654 for proof coins and $641 for uncirculated coins due to the higher price of gold. Recent coins in the series have sold only 11,000-12,000 coins across both options. Some collectors believe the low mintages will eventually translate into higher values.

Zachary Taylor Dollar Mintage

The final circulation strike mintages for the Zachary Taylor Presidential Dollar were recently released by the US Mint. They represent new mintage lows for each respective mint and on an overall basis.

Zachary Taylor Dollar

The Zachary Taylor Dollar was released into circulation on November 19, 2009 as the fourth and final release of the series for the year and the twelfth release since the series began. Until this point, mintages have shown a general decline for each subsequent release, with two small interruptions.

The latest mintage figures break new ground to the downside. On an overall basis, the mintage came in at 78,260,000. This was divided between 41,580,000 coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint and 36,680,000 coins produced at the Denver Mint.

This comes in almost 10 million below the mintage of the prior release. The number is also about one fourth of the mintage achieved for the first release of the series for the George Washington Dollar. Will the mintages continue to decline as the series progresses?

2010 Presidential Dollars

The Presidential Dollar series will enter its fourth year in 2010. The year will also include one of the most well known Presidents, hopefully giving the series a boost.

The US Mint recently released the line art images for the 2010 Presidential Dollars honoring Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln. These images will be used for the obverse of each coin and the reverse will continue to feature the Statue of Liberty as designed by Don Everhart.

The Presidential Dollars will be struck for circulation at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. The dollar coins will co-circulate with the Native American Dollar series. Proof versions of each dollar coin will also be produced for inclusion in a variety of US Mint products offered to collectors.

Images for each of next year’s Presidential Dollars appear below.

Millard Fillmore Dollar

Millard Fillmore Presidential Dollar
13th President

Franlin Pierce Dollar

Franklin Pierce Presidential Dollar
14th President

James Buchanan Dollar

James Buchanan Presidential Dollar
15th President

Abraham Lincoln Dollar

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Dollar
16th President