2013 First Spouse Gold Coin Design Candidates

Continuing with the theme of the last post, I would like to share images for the leading design candidates for the 2013 First Spouse Gold Coins. There will be a total of five different coins honoring the spouses of the 29th to 32nd Presidents, since Woodrow Wilson had a first and second wife while in office.

Once again, it seems that the First Spouse Coins will be released late this year. For the 2012-dated issues, the US Mint had provided design candidates to the CFA and CCAC in November 2011. The final designs selections were announced in April 2012, however due to production problems it would take until nearly the end of the year for the first of the coins to be released. All four issues were released in rapid succession between the dates of October 11, 2012 and December 20, 2012.

For the 2013-dated issues, the US Mint provided design candidates for review in March 2013. After both the CFA and CCAC rejected all candidates for the reverse of the Edith Wilson coin, a second round of candidates was provided for review in April. Since this time, there has not been any announcement of the final design selections and the five coins remain listed on the US Mint’s product schedule under “On Sale Date To Be Determined”.

The design recommendations provided by the CFA and CCAC are shown below. Previous Coin Update News coverage of the reviews can be found here and here. The article on the second round of Edith Wilson designs can be found here. Visit these articles to view all design candidates provided by the US Mint.

Ida McKinley

The CFA and CCAC both provided the same recommendations for the obverse and reverse designs of the Ida McKinley First Spouse Gold Coin. The reverse design was a strong favorite of the CCAC over an alternate which showed her working at a bank. The CFA did request that her right hand should be extended though the border motif similar to the depiction of her left hand.

Edith Roosevelt First Spouse Gold Coin

Both groups recommended the same obverse design for the Edith Roosevelt First Spouse Gold Coin, which was based on a portrait favored by President Roosevelt. Among the reverse design candidates was one image of the First Lady introducing her husband to Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Despite some positive comments from members of the CCAC, the official recommendation was made for an alternate design  representing the renovation of the White House in 1902.

The CFA did not support any of the reverse design candidates, but suggested modifications to the same design favored by the CCAC. The CFA suggested a more accurate depiction of the column capital, possibly shifting it to the left, removing the rose element, and moving “1902” to the space previously occupied by the rose.

Helen Taft First Spouse Gold Coin

The two groups offered different recommendations for the obverse design of the Helen Taft First Spouse Coin. The CFA favored the candidate shown above left, while the CCAC favored the candidate shown above right.


The same reverse design candidate featuring an abstracted cherry blossom motif was a strong favorite of both groups.

Ellen Wilson First Spouse Gold Coin

Both the CFA and CCAC offered the same recommendations for the obverse and reverse designs of the Ellen Wilson First Spouse Gold Coin. For the reverse, the CFA suggested refining the design by clarifying the relationship between the White House and the roses by reducing the scale of the roses or moving the White House away from the border.

Edith Wilson Obverse

Both groups offered the same recommendation for the obverse of the Edith Wilson First Spouse Coin. As mentioned, there were no recommendations offered for any of the original reverse design candidates. The CCAC made a motion to request more reverse design candidates with a potential theme of the First Lady’s service during the President’s infirmary. The US Mint complied with the request, providing an additional four candidates for review.

new reverse

The CCAC recommended one of the candidates from the second round of designs, shown above left. They felt that this design effectively conveyed the theme of the First Lady helping the President in the execution of his duties following his stroke. The CFA found the new designs unsatisfactory and instead recommended one of the original candidates, shown above right, with modifications. They suggested placing the First Lady’s hand on the President’s shoulder and enlarging the size of the paper being signed so it appears as an official document rather than a checkbook.

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  1. Louis says

    I agree with what Steve said, and it could be even later. Take that all you speculators! Not that there is anything wrong with speculating,

  2. Louis says

    @fmtransmitter- Where did you find your album for the bronze spouse medals? I have kept mine in the cellophane wrappers. It would be nice to display them, but I have not seen any albums.

  3. ClevelandRocks says

    On topic: FS all are pretty hideous looking. Last nice looking obverses were the Tyler spouses.

  4. Ray says

    I was never much of a fan of the FS coins. I do like the retro ones from presidents without wives. I haven’t bought any but may because of the low mintages, especially if there is a chance of a new key date FS. For the 2013s, I like the cherry blossoms and roses on the reverse of the Taft and Ellen Wilson coins. That wont drive me to buy either though. If I see the possibility of a new key date for 2013, thats why I’d buy one. Most likely I wont buy any. I still need to buy the Uncirc AGE, and we have the RP Buff coming up in less than 2 months. Cant wait for the RP Buff even though I agree with most that it doesnt look as good as the regular proof. I really wish they would bring back the fractionals for the gold buff, especially for the 100th anniversary, but also as an annual offering.

  5. phillip says

    FS coins are great looking individually and even better as a set. If I had to chose just one it would be that Lucy Hayes coin. Never seen anything like it before. What’s the deal with the hair net, was that a style back then?

    Add in the historical element (check out secret lives of the first ladies), the rising status of women in society (ignoring places where they disappear for 10 years 3 blocks from home) and the falling price of gold and I think we have a winner!


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