The United States Mint will begin sales of the 2010 Abigail Fillmore First Spouse Gold Coins later this week on March 18, 2010 at 12:00 Noon ET. This will be the first release of the series for the year. Recently revealed product information suggests that this release may present an important shift for the series.
The Abigail Fillmore coin features the First Lady’s portrait on the obverse designed by Phebe Hemphill. The reverse, designed by Susan Gamble, features an image of her shelving books at in the White House Library that she established. Abigail Fillmore was the First Lady during the Presidency of her husband Millard Fillmore.
As with the prior releases of the series, proof and uncirculated versions will be available, with both versions struck at the West Point Mint. Each coin will contain one-half ounce of 24 karat gold. If the average price of gold remains within the $1,100 to $1,149.99 range, then the proof version will be priced at $729 and the uncirculated version will be priced at $716.
In an unexpected shift, the US Mint has announced that the maximum authorized mintage will be set at 15,000 across both the proof and uncircualted product options. The split between proof and uncirculated coins will be determined based on demand. There will be no household ordering limits imposed.
In the past, the US Mint has set the maximum authorized mintage at 40,000 coins across both options. Furthermore, they have usually begun sales with an ordering limit of ten coins per option per household in place.
By setting a maximum mintage only slightly above the sales level for the past few issues and removing the initial household limits, the US Mint is providing a much more tantalizing product.
This might be just the boost that the series needs to bring attention to the extremely low mintage of some of the prior issues. The current mintage low among the coins no longer available for sale is the Louisa Adams First Spouse Coin with combined final sales of 11,677 (4,223 uncirculated and 7,454 proof).
An interesting question is also raised by the newly set maximum authorized mintage- will the US Mint use this for all coins of the series going forward? The Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse Gold Coin slated for release in December was already expected to be popular. If the maximum mintage is set at 15,000, this would contribute to a quick sell out and likely swift secondary market appreciation.
Separately, the US Mint will begin sales of the Abigail Fillmore Bronze Medals on the same date. The medals will be priced at $5.50 each. This is an increase of $2 from the price of last year’s individual medals.