Alice Paul and the Suffrage Movement $10 Gold Coin

Today October 11, 2012 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2012 Alice Paul Suffragist Gold Coins. This release is part of the First Spouse Gold Coin Program and will be the first release of the series for the year.

The release of the 2012 First Spouse Gold Coins comes after a lengthy delay. In April, the designs for this year’s four coins were announced, but the coins failed to be added to the product schedule. This lead some collectors to speculate whether the series would be canceled, although legally the series is required to continue. The US Mint finally provided an explanation in August, when they cited production problems as the reason for the delay. At that time, the Mint indicated that all four coins in proof and uncirculated versions would be struck and released before the end of the year.

Alice Paul was a leading strategist in the suffrage movement that ultimately gained women the right to vote with the adoption of the 19th amendment. She is featured on the First Spouse Gold Coin released to represent the Presidency of Chester A. Arthur. This was specifically required by the authorizing legislation, which notes that she was born during Arthur’s Presidential term.

The obverse design of the coin features a portrait of Alice Paul designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The name “Alice Paul” is inscribed above, with “Suffragist” at the base. (Typically for the series, the inscription at the base would indicate the order of the Presidency and the dates of the term.) The reverse design of the coin depicts a participant marching in the suffrage parade holding a flag and wearing a banner with the words “Votes for Women”. The reverse was designed and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.

As with previous releases of the series, each coin carries a legal tender value of $10, and is struck in 1/2 oz. of .9999 fine gold.

The US Mint has established a maximum mintage of 13,000 coins across proof and uncirculated options. This represents a decline of 2,000 from the maximum mintage established for the 2011-dated releases of the series. None of the 2011 releases managed to sell more than 7,000 coins across both options.

Pricing is set at $1,054 for the proof version and $1,041 for the uncirculated version of the coin. These prices are based on an average gold price within the $1,750 to $1799.99 range. As with the US Mint’s other numismatic gold offerings, pricing may be adjusted weekly in response to changes in the market price of gold.

How will collectors respond to the Alice Paul Suffragist $10 Gold Coin offering? There are several factors both working for and against the offering.

The First Spouse Gold Coin Program moved back onto the radar for some collectors after the unexpected sell out of the uncirculated Lucy Hayes coin. The last reported sales were a mere 2,263 coins, setting a significant new low for the series. Soon after this sell out, sales for the uncirculated Lucretia Garfield coins surged and also sold out. In the past, unexpected sell outs and low mintages have somtimes served to reignite interest in a series.

The release of the Alice Paul coin has been delayed for about five months compared to last year’s schedule. Lengthy delays in release have tended to create a sense of urgency and pent up demand for some collectors.

Some factors which may weigh on sales begin with the overall trend for the series, which has been towards lower and lower sales. This may simply continue with the current year releases. Pricing for the offering will be at the high end of the spectrum for the series, due to the higher market price of gold. Gold is now up more than $200 per ounce from the lows of the summer months. Compared to 2007 when the series began, gold is up more than $1,100.

Finally, the use of a one-off concept may impact sales. As discussed previously, for all other Presidents who served without a spouse, a classic coin design featuring Liberty was used for the obverse. While it is important to recognize the suffrage movement, if another Liberty design was used (such as the Morgan Dollar obverse) this would have been one of the most exciting releases of the year.

Given these overlapping factors, it will be interesting to see the opening sales figures next week.

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Comments

  1. Phil says

    My “vote” on this coin is a big “thumbs down”. I’m boycotting it because Alice Paul should not be on a first spouse coin, and the mint missed a great opportunity to have the $1 gold Indian Princess design on a 1st spouse coin, which would have been very popular with collectors like myself. It would have been a great addition to the rest of the first spouse liberty series, of which I have both the proof and uncirculated versions.

  2. says

    Maybe I missed it, but in reading through these 100+ comments I didn’t see mention that the survey also asked about fractional proof and unc. buffalo issues, and also asked if there should be unlimited orders for a short window (like the Eagle set) rather than a fixed mintage.

    I like the short order window rather than keep them on sale forever, or a fixed mintage. I would have bought the whole spouse series if only I had been able to buy the first ones from the mint but the limited availability made me lose interest.

  3. Gary says

    @MarkinFlorida
    Are you the same Mark in Florida who is selling the 2012 NGC Retro Silver Eagle MS 69 for $79.00?
    C’mon man!! Is that the best you can do?

  4. Athalon says

    That should have been 2011 for the MOH.
    I had just purchesed the SBB set to night. Looks like it might be a winner in low production, but not best gold coin.

  5. Barry says

    I received my Alice Paul Unc. First Spouse
    Gold Coin yesterday Oct.19. Along with Lucretia Garfield Proof and A.T.B Hawaii
    Volcanoes 5 ounce Unc.Coin. All three in great condition. The cost was the most ever
    I placed on one order. I know there will probably be a price decrease ahead. I Think the First Spouse Series will be a major investment winner in the future. Alice Paul
    will certainly stand out in the Series. I gave it a big thumbs up. I’m wondering if any
    descendants of Chester Arthur were asked who
    they prefered on the coin? The sales report
    for Alice Paul show it’s in demand. I think a
    full face portrait like Alice Paul and Julia
    Tyler are the best way to enhance and revitalize the Series.

  6. S. Knight says

    This coin IGNORES the way the other coins in the series DATE themselves usually four ways.

    ONE the Number of the term;

    TWO the first date of the term;

    THREE the last date of the term if more than a year;

    FOUR the date the coin was supposedly made to be released.

    All this coin has on it is the NUMBER FOUR date and that’s six months late.

    HOW FUBAR they were not to put the MORGAN SILVER DOLLAR on the OBS.

  7. S. Knight says

    PS after the election gold will really start to climb to match the doubling of the currency since 2008 – and now a quadrupling taking off.

  8. S. Knight says

    This series is the least amount of coins made in gold for way over 100 years and pushing 200 years by the SNAFU mint.

    That makes them constantly in the LOWEST 70 coins number per coin especially in MS and about half the PF per coin.

    That down the road (say, 30 years) is a recipe for greatness like the first US Eagles ever made around the 1800s,

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