WASHINGTON — The United States Mint announced today that it will begin taking orders for the Martha Washington and Abigail Adams First Spouse Coins at 12:00 noon (ET) on June 19, 2007. The First Spouse Coins mark the first time the United States Mint has featured women on a consecutive series of coins.
Each First Spouse Coin will be a half–ounce of pure gold in proof or uncirculated versions. The coins will have a denomination of $10, but the 24–karat gold content will be worth considerably more than that. Bronze duplicate medals may also be ordered.
The first four coins in this multiple–year series will honor Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Dolley Madison. President Thomas Jefferson’s wife died in 1782, before he was elected in 1801, so “Jefferson’s Liberty,” 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 “Jefferson’s Liberty” First Spouse Coin is expected to go on sale on August 16, 2007, and the Dolley Madison First Spouse Coin tentatively will go on sale on November 15, 2007.
Customers may visit www.usmint.gov or call 1–800–USA–MINT to order their coins. The price of the individual First Spouse Proof Coin for Martha Washington or Abigail Adams will be $429.95. The price of the First Spouse Uncirculated Coin for Martha Washington or Abigail Adams will be $410.95.
There will be a mintage limit of 40,000 across both product options and a household limit of five for each option. The United States Mint has decided not to offer four–coin sets of these products, either for order or by subscription.
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 George Washington Presidential $1 Coin went into circulation on February 15, 2007. The John Adams Presidential $1 Coin goes into circulation on May 17.
The obverse (heads side) of the First Spouse 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; and “In God We Trust” and the word “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 First Spouse 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.