The United States Mint has recently announced the design selections for the 2013 First Spouse Gold Coins. These coins will feature Ida McKinley, Edith Roosevelt, Helen Taft, Ellen Wilson, and Edith Wilson. There will be a total of five different issues for this year since President Wilson had a first and second wife while serving in office.
Once again, the series will be off to a late start. While the US Mint has not yet provided specific release dates, they have indicated that the first coin of the year featuring Ida McKinley will be released in early fall.
Last year, the 2012-dated releases had been delayed due to production problems. The four different issues were eventually released in rapid succession between October 11, 2012 and December 20, 2012.
For this year, the design candidates for the 2013-dated coins were provided for review to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) in March 2013. After both panels rejected all candidates for the reverse of the Edith Wilson coin, an expanded slate of candidates had been provided in April. Four months later, the announced designs represent the official selections made by the Secretary of the Treasury.
The 2013 Ida McKinley First Spouse Gold Coin features a profile portrait on the obverse designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The reverse designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Renata Gordon depicts two hands crocheting to represent the First Lady’s work crocheting thousands of slippers that were auctioned off for charity.
Within the design review stage, both the CCAC and CFA had made recommendations for the selected obverse and reverse designs. As requested by the CFA, a slight alteration was made to the reverse design to extend the right hand through the border motif.
The Edith Roosevelt First Spouse Gold Coin features a depiction of the First Lady which was based on a favorite of President Roosevelt. This was designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Joseph Menna. The reverse, which was designed by Chris Costello and sculpted by Don Everhart, represents Mrs. Roosevelt’s work in the restoration of the White House in 1902.
The CFA and CCAC had both recommended the selected obverse. The CCAC had recommended the selected reverse. While the CFA did not officially support any of the reverse design candidates, they suggested modifications to the original version of the selected reverse. Some of these modifications were adopted including shifting the column to the left and removing an extra rose element.
The Helen Taft First Spouse Coin features a portrait designed by William C. Burgard and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The reverse, designed by Richard Masters and sculpted by Charles Vickers, depicts a branch of Japanese cherry blossoms to symbolize the First Lady’s instrumental role in bringing the cherry trees to Washington, DC.
The CFA had recommended the selected obverse design, while the CCAC had recommended a different candidate. Both groups had shown strong support for the selected reverse design.
The 2013 Ellen Wilson Gold Coin includes a portrait designed by Frank Morris and sculpted by Charles Vickers. The reverse design by Don Everhart pays tribute to the First Lady’s role in the creation of the White House Rose Garden.
Both the CFA and CCAC had recommended the selected obverse and reverse designs. There was some slight modification to the original reverse design as requested by the CFA. The roses were slightly reduced in size to remove the overlap with the White House.
The Edith Wilson First Spouse Gold Coin features a portrait designed by David Westwood and sculpted by Michael Gaudioso. The reverse, which was designed by Joseph Menna, depicts the First Lady supporting her husband who had suffered a stroke. His hand rests on a cane, while hers is placed warmly on top.
Within the design review phase, both the CFA and CCAC had recommended the selected obverse design. The CCAC had recommended the selected reverse design, which came from the second round of design candidates provided. The CFA had found the new designs unsatisfactory and made a recommendation for one of the original designs with modifications.
For those interested in seeing all of the original design candidates for the 2013 First Spouse Gold Coins, please refer to the Coin Update News coverage of the CCAC review which can be found here. The article on the second round of Edith Wilson designs can be found here.