CANTON, OHIO — Following last month’s announcement that the United States Mint would produce circulating Presidential $1 Coins in 2007, Director Edmund C. Moy and a Dolley Madison re–enactor raised the curtain on designs for pure gold, collectible First Spouse Coins that will coincide with the annual release of the Presidential $1 Coins.
“This marks the first time the United States Mint has featured women on a consecutive series of coins,” Director Moy told the crowd at the National First Ladies Library as the images of the four 24–karat coins were revealed. “Each coin is a half–ounce of pure gold. You might say they are the Presidents’ better half! Through this coin series, Americans will learn more about how the First Spouses have served our country.
The 2007 First Spouse Coins feature the images of Martha Washington, Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison in the order in which their husbands served as President. Because President Thomas 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 Half–Cent: 1800–1808), will be featured on the third First Spouse Coin of the series.
The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 authorized the First Spouse Coins as the pure gold (.9999) collectible counterparts of the circulating Presidential $1 Coins. The First Spouse Coins will have a denomination of $10, but their 24–karat gold content will be worth considerably more than that. 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 First Spouse Coins will be available in May 2007 on the United States Mint’s website, www.usmint.gov, or by calling 1–800–USA–MINT. More information about the new coins is on the website.
The obverse (heads side) of these 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 United States Mint medallic sculptor. The obverse of the Dolley Madison coin was designed and sculpted by Don Everhart, a United States Mint sculptor–engraver. The Jefferson obverse image of Liberty appeared on the Draped Bust Half–Cent coin from 1800–1808, originally executed by United States Mint Chief Engraver Robert Scot. The image was re–sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, a United States Mint medallic sculptor.
The Martha Washington reverse was designed by Susan Gamble of Arlington, Virginia, an Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer. The image was sculpted by Don Everhart, a United States 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 AIP Master Designer. The image was sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, a United States Mint medallic sculptor. In one of her most memorable letters, Mrs. 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 United States Mint sculptor–engraver. The reverse design depicts Thomas Jefferson’s monument, located on the grounds of his Monticello estate. Jefferson is widely recognized for his unmatched 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, New York, an AIP Master Designer. The image was sculpted by Don Everhart, a United States 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 forced to flee the White House in advance of oncoming British troops in August 1814.