Today, July 10, 2014 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2014 Florence Harding First Spouse Gold Coin. This represents the first release of the year for the 24 karat gold coin series honoring the spouses of the Presidents.
The obverse design of the coin features a left facing profile portrait of the First Lady, designed by Thomas Cleveland and engraved by Joseph Menna. The inscriptions include “Florence Harding”, “In God We Trust”, “Liberty”, “2014”, “29th” and “1921-1923”. This obverse design had been supported by the Commission of Fine Arts, although the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee had preferred an alternate.
The reverse of the coin, which was designed by Thomas Cleveland and engraved by Don Everhart, contains an amalgam of items and symbols related to the accomplishments and notable aspects of the First Lady. The initials WWV at the top of a lit torch signify her role in championing the cause of World War I veterans. The torch is transformed to a pen at the base to represent her extensive correspondence with veterans, spouses, and widows. A camera is present at lower right to represent her orchestration of photo opportunities supporting her husband’s campaign. A ballot box at lower left represents her distinction as the first First Lady to cast a vote for a presidential candidate, her husband. Inscriptions on the reverse include “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, “$10”, and “1/2 oz .9999 Fine Gold”. This uncharacteristic design had won the strong support of the CCAC, while the CFA preferred a more traditional design.
Initial pricing for the Florence Harding First Spouse Gold Coins will be $845 for the uncirculated version and $865 for the proof version. These prices are based on an average weekly price of gold in the $1,300 to $1,349.99 range and will remain subject to potential weekly adjustment.
The United States Mint has established a maximum mintage of 10,000 pieces across both proof and uncirculated versions, matching the level established for last year’s releases. Customer demand will determine the ratio of proof to uncirculated coins produced within the total maximum mintage.
Since its launch, the First Spouse Gold Coin Program has seen its initial popularity recede to a small but dedicated base of collectors. At the initial peak, the first three releases of the series in 2007 achieved sell outs at the 40,000 maximum mintage level, with a roughly even split between proof and uncirculated versions. At the current low for the series, the uncirculated version of the 2011 Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coin had a final audited mintage of 2,168 pieces. The 2013-dated issues of the series, which were not released until late last year, still remain available for sale on the US Mint’s website.
The US Mint has scheduled the next release of the series honoring Grace Coolidge for next week on July 17, 2014. The remaining two releases for the year honoring Lou Hoover and Eleanor Roosevelt have not yet been scheduled.