WASHINGTON — The United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the Letitia Tyler First Spouse Gold Coin on July 2, 2009, at noon Eastern Time (ET). The one–half ounce 24–karat gold coin, struck at the United States Mint at West Point, will be available in proof and uncirculated conditions. Pricing for the coins will be based on the United States Mint’s pricing structure for precious metals products. For current pricing information, visit http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?flash=yes&action=goldplat.
The coin’s obverse (heads side) features a portrait of Letitia Tyler by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Phebe Hemphill. Inscriptions on the obverse include IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY and 1841–1842, the period during which she was the spouse of the President. The coin’s reverse (tails side) depicts Tyler and her two oldest children behind their Cedar Grove Plantation, with the plantation building and fields visible in the distance. Inscriptions on the reverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 OZ. and .9999 FINE GOLD. The reverse was designed by Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Susan Gamble and executed by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Norman E. Nemeth.
A digital image of the Letitia Tyler First Spouse Gold Coin is available at http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=Photo#2009Spouse.
The maximum mintage for the Letitia Tyler First Spouse Gold Coin is set at 40,000 units across both product options. Customer demand will determine the ratio of proof coins to uncirculated coins produced within the total maximum mintage. During the first week of sales, a limit of 10 coins per product option per household will be in effect. The United States Mint will re–evaluate this household limit at the end of the initial sales period, and either extend, adjust or lift it.
Bronze medals bearing a likeness of the gold coin also will be available for $3.50. There is no mintage or order limit for the bronze medal.
Orders for the Letitia Tyler First Spouse Gold Coin will be accepted at www.usmint.gov/catalog, or 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468). Hearing– and speech–impaired customers with TTY equipment may order at 1–888–321–MINT (6468). A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 will be applied to all domestic orders.
Letitia Christian Tyler was the first wife of John Tyler, our nation’s 10th President. She was content to remain in the background raising her children and managing her household and the family’s 1,200 acre plantation, Sherwood Forest, in Charles City County, Virginia. Because of her poor health, Tyler was never able to assume the social duties of a first lady. Instead, she directed the entertaining and managed the household affairs of the White House from behind the scenes. Her sole public appearance while first lady was at the wedding of their daughter, Elizabeth. Letitia Tyler died in September 1842. She was the first presidential spouse to die in the White House.
Note: To ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to United States Mint products, orders placed prior to the official on–sale date and time of noon ET on July 2, 2009, shall not be deemed accepted by the United States Mint and will not be honored. For more information, please review the United States Mint’s Frequently Asked Questions, Answer ID #175.