Alice Paul Gold Coin Scheduled for October 11 Release

The United States Mint has announced the “launch” of the 2012 First Spouse Gold Coin series, with the first release scheduled to go on sale October 11, 2012 at 12:00 Noon ET. The release dates for the other three designs have not yet been established.

The release of the 2012 First Spouse Gold Coins had been delayed due to production problems discussed in this post. In prior years, the first releases of the series for each year had occurred on June 19, 2007, February 28, 2008, March 5, 2009, March 18, 2010, and May 5, 2011.

The first release features a portrait of Alice Paul, a leading strategist in the suffrage movement. As the US Mint clearly points out in their press release, the use of Alice Paul’s image is specifically required by a provision of the authorizing legislation. President Chester Arthur had served in office without a spouse, so the use of Alice Paul was directed since she was “instrumental in gaining women the right to vote upon the adoption of the 19th amendment and thus the ability to participate in the election of future Presidents, and who was born on January 11, 1885, during the term of President Arthur.”

In the previous four situations where a President served in office without a spouse, the authorizing legislation had required “an image emblematic of the concept of Liberty as represented on a United States coin issued during the period of service of such President.”

Not to dwell on what could have been, but if not for the specific provision requiring a design featuring Alice Paul, some coins issued during the Presidential Term of Chester Arthur (1881-1885) include the Indian Head Cent, Morgan Silver Dollar, and the Indian Princess Gold Dollar.

I am not seeking to downplay the contributions of Alice Paul, but in terms of continuity it is a bit odd to treat a certain situation one way for the first four instances and a different way for the fifth instance. Alternately, the legislation could have required the depiction of an important woman from the relevant time period for all five instances, or an image emblematic of Liberty for all five instances.

If the market price of gold remains within its current range leading up to the release, the Alice Paul Gold Coins would be priced at $1,041 for uncirculated coins and $1,054 for proofs. The maximum mintage is set at 13,000 across both versions, which is a reduction from the 15,000 maximum established for the 2011 releases.

So far, the press release and product schedule make no mention of an Alice Paul bronze medal. For each prior release of the series, a bronze medal featuring the same design as the gold coin has been released. The individual medals have gone on sale the same day as the gold coins.

Sales Report Posted: On Coin Update News, I have just posted the latest numismatic sales report, which shows a strong start for the 2012-P Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins. The opening sales are 40% higher than for the prior release, and represent the strongest start for the product line to date.

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Comments

  1. says

    Michael,

    Thanks for the update on the AtBs. I’m glad to see the Hawaii coin doing well. It certainly deserves it. I’d like to know if the surge was caused by the great design or by the silver price surge. I’m inclined to credit the artwork, because I don’t think we didn’t see very big sales surges for the other AtBs during the runup we had before the Hawaii release.

    As for the Alice Paul release, I wonder if we will see strong sales for it due to the pent up demand combined with the interest the Lucy Hayes and Lucretia Garfield uncirculated coins generated.

    I’m surprised the medal hasn’t yet been announced. Perhaps they’ve decided to discontinue sales of those.

  2. Mint News Blog says

    I was surprised about the lack mention for the medals as well. A month ago, the US Mint had stated that these would be issued, just like previous years. I just sent another inquiry to see if anything has changed.

  3. Louis says

    Aren’t the medals usually released as a set towards the end of the year? I may be wrong, but other than in the 2-coin sets with the corresponding presidential dollar, I do not recall the medals being sold individually.

    The values for the first year’s medal sets are pretty amazing. Glad I got two and did give one away as I had planned to!

  4. george glazener says

    Pity the mint didn’t opt to give us an obverse featuring a prominent coin design of the day, such as the Morgan Dollar. How many of us would buy a 1/2 OZ of Gold with that iconic image on it?

  5. george glazener says

    Louis, yes they did offer each of the FS bronze medals individually. I bought several of them over the years

  6. Boz says

    Had wondered what the mint was going to offer in October. There was nothing on the schedule. So what now, a first spouse each week in October to get caught up?

  7. SilverFan says

    No surprise about the sales of the Hawaii ATB. The design is spectacular. I hope it sells out…like the 2001 silver buffalo commemorative coin did.

  8. Jack in N.E says

    I hope they continue the First Spouse Bronze Medals.I think once they start something they should follow through to the end or do not start it in the first place

  9. Louis says

    Thanks for the clarification guys. I still would rather wait and get them as a set as I always do.

  10. Brad says

    Ha ha!

    Seriously, if I pass on the 2012 First Spouses, it will be a matter of principal, not because I can’t afford them. It’s the fact that I’ll have to shell out hundreds of extra dollars to get them that is hard to swallow. Even if the Mint was having problems striking the coins (still a little fishy to me), there’s no reason why they couldn’t have opened up sales on schedule and just let the orders sit in “backorder” status until the coins were ready. It wouldn’t have been much different from the San Francisco ASE sets ordered in June and July that are still backordered. The only difference would have been that the first two FS coins would have cost me at least $100 per coin less than they will now. There’s always a possibility that the first two will cost $125 per coin more, if gold passes and stays above $1,800 by next weeks’ price calculation.

    No, I’m not for paying all of that extra money to the Mint because they chose to effectively hold all of the coins “hostage” and force us to pay so much more. I just don’t know if I can do it. It’s awfully tempting to “cash out” now and make a killing on what I have. Then the Mint can have however many “problems” they’d like to have in the future, and I won’t have to worry about it anymore. I’m really torn here.

  11. VA Bob says

    Brad – the only time Government agencies talk to each other is when they can screw Joe/Jane six-pack out of his/her money. Does anyone believe the Mint didn’t know a thing about QE3 coming? They sure haven’t detailed the “problems” they had minting the FS’s.

  12. hi ho silver says

    Oops ! Brad can’t answer that. Do what you want bob !!……. I do…..If I was a woman I might like this gold coin. I’m not so I don’t .

  13. says

    The rise in gold from QE3 is just getting started and has a long ways to go yet…imo…so why start selling the FS coins now if the Mint is waiting for gold prices to rise even more.

  14. hi ho silver says

    Steve !! I’m still waiting on a shark coin with a release date of 11/01 ! QE3 ?? Haha !! Imo.

  15. Brad says

    Well, I finally got my answer tonight on the extra Lucy Hayes Unc coins I ordered on 8/2 and 8/3. Both were cancelled, reason cited being “product is no longer available.” Just as I figured, I was strung along for two months and then had the rug pulled out from under me. The 8/2 order was placed just after the backorder notice appeared, too. I thought maybe at least it would work out. The afterthought order on 8/3 was more questionable, but the coin hadn’t been backordered for very long at all before the 8/2 order was placed. It seems it was already too late at that point. Way to go, Mint!

  16. Robertson says

    “…the only time Government agencies talk to each other is when they can screw Joe/Jane six-pack out of his/her money.”

    Interesting comment. One might argue just the reverse, given the increasing popularity of “flipping” coins for short-term profit or returning at taxpayer expense large numbers of Mint products the the new-age “collector” deems unacceptable (read: any coin that doesn’t merit a MS or PF70 grade).

    The vast majority of comments I read on this and other blogs bear this reality out. The original collector who collects for the simple joy of collecting, is becoming an endangered species, I’m afraid.

  17. hi ho silver says

    I’m hoping I get this coin before thanksgiving too Steve! I called them last week about it…….. Thanks again !! Should be unique.

  18. The Hawk says

    I purchased a Hawaii ATB after ordering the previous 3 all at once a few weeks before and clearing got two rejects with dings on the rim. I wanted to get a fresh one of the Hawaii and not someone’s reject.

  19. Louis says

    Robertson,
    You make an interesting observation, but first, I do think many of the posters here still collect for enjoyment too.

    But on the taxpayer issue, I feel like I need to get one of those banners attached to an airplane that reads “The U.S. Mint does not receive ANY taxpayer funding. All of its programs are financed though a combination of coin sales and seigniorage”!!!! Read the previous post on the web site redesign, which mentions that the Mint even added a statement on this point.

  20. Louis says

    On the art work, I am a little disappointed by the coin design images above from the Mint’s site, but I think the coins themselves will look better. I have a friend who has been a collector for a half-century who says he has never seen an ugly gold coin!

  21. EvilFlipper says

    I like the silence in discussion regarding the gold eagle proof sets. Not many seem to be talking about these. I hope sales stay this low! This could be the set of the year. Kind of a dark horse at the outset with 2011 sets still for sale. I have a feeling the mint didn’t make as many of these due to the lackluster demand for the 2011’s. I’ll be watching VERY patiently. If gold keeps going up demand could slow even further…. If gold crashes the mint might suspend sales to reprice. Volatility seems to be a friend if one is speculating on these sets.

  22. K bo says

    Off topic, Has anyone got the second batch of the S.F sets, i’m wondering how they look. thanks.

  23. Shutter says

    If gold crashes the mint might suspend sales to reprice.

    The mint doesn’t suspend sales to reprice gold coins. The price changes are based on previous week’s spot prices.

  24. ABC says

    “The mint doesn’t suspend sales to reprice gold coins. The price changes are based on previous week’s spot prices.”

    The mint has suspended sales of gold coins in the past for repricing when the price of gold went up 2 or 3 levels within a week’s time. But, the opposite has never occurred.

    The mint will suspend sales in order to make more profit. They will never halt sales to lower the price of a product when the spot price falls 2 or 3 levels because they realize there are customers out there who don’t pay close attention to the spot prices and the pricing policy. So they end up paying more money for a coin that will have a lower price if they waited until the price was adjusted in the following week.

  25. Rick says

    Similar result to Brad/////”Well, I finally got my answer tonight on the extra Lucy Hayes Unc coins I ordered on 8/2 and 8/3. Both were cancelled, reason cited being “product is no longer available.” Just as I figured, I was strung along for two months and then had the rug pulled out from under me. The 8/2 order was placed just after the backorder notice appeared, too. I thought maybe at least it would work out. The afterthought order on 8/3 was more questionable, but the coin hadn’t been backordered for very long at all before the 8/2 order was placed. It seems it was already too late at that point. Way to go, Mint!”

    I just got “item not available” for my Eliza Johnson proof that has been backordered since 6/20 (before the time they were not available). Now I do not have a contiguous set. I buy one for my collection as funds are available. I called the mint earlier and they assured me that I would receive the backordered coin. This was when the price of gold was alot lower. A normal business would be more accommodating to their customer. I cannot believe the mint is now issuing the held back coins at the now higher gold rate. The mint has no consideration for the small collector and their customer base.

    Why cannot the mint combine orders to lower the shipping costs. The small collector also ends up paying a higher percentage of the price for shipping.

  26. Dan says

    Michael

    Since many people are getting cancelled notices on the Lucy and Lucretia coins, does that mean that the final numbers on these coins will be adjusted down by these cancellations???

  27. vaughnster says

    My 2012 SF 2 coin sets were supposed to ship on 9/28 but they just got pushed back to the 10/31 date again. This is the second time the ship date was moved up and not met. What a way to treat your customers. I received my 5 oz. Hawaii ATB yesterday and the reverse was very nice. However the obverse had two very obvious brownish spots near Washington’s neck. Looks like it wasn’t rinsed properly. It’s already half way to Indiana for an exchange 🙁

  28. EvilFlipper says

    The mint suspended sales in 2008 due to the gold/pm price corrections… That’s why the 2008 montages were so low. The platinum burnished were held of most of the year until the end. Not to mention them hardly selling any gold or silver products in 2009.

  29. Yomama says

    @ Robertson

    I agree but am afraid that I am also turning from a lifetime coin collector to an “evil flipper” because it is more challenging, I guess?

  30. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    $500 x [91/43] = $1,058

    i.e. 2007 price 0.5 oz gold x [oil per barrel 2012/oil per barrel 2007] =
    2012 price 0.5 oz gold

    Hallib gained control of oil thru waarrrr any questions?

  31. ABC says

    Lucy and Lucretia coins were probably in stock at the mint. The mint probably held on to them to see what would happen with the price of gold. Remember, at the time the back orders started, the price for each was $941; now it’s about $100 more. They realized that if they held on to them and cancelled all the outstanding orders, they could melt them and use the gold for other coins and make more profit.

  32. Hidalgo says

    I just checked the status of my Garfield UNC FS gold coin that was ordered during the evening of August 7, 2012. I received several notices that the item was backordered. As of today, the status of the order is that the “Item is no longer available.”

    At least I can come to closure on this matter.

  33. Jeremy says

    @Robertson, for the moment, past few years and perhaps few more yet to come, there has been a lot of attention given to precious metals due to economic conditions. Once there is FINALLY some sort of conclusion or ultimate outcome to this situation people largely, especially the so called “flippers”, will disappear once the gains begin to dry up, and they WILL! These people will find another means of speculation, just like they did during the housing market. Nobody wants homes anymore, where are all the flippers in the housing market now, there are very few, many have moved on and may very well be in the precious metals market. I’m sure at some point Perth Mint products too will cease to provide the profitable opportunity that they do today. I surmise that products like the RCM ladybug coin which went from $250, to what, $600 will likely see that lower price once again some time in the future.

  34. says

    The mint doesn’t suspend sales to reprice gold coins. The price changes are based on previous week’s spot prices.

    I think they might have done it once or twice (last year or 2010), if memory serves correctly, for the most extreme, rapid price swings. It doesn’t usually happen, though.

    Interesting comment. One might argue just the reverse, given the increasing popularity of “flipping” coins for short-term profit or returning at taxpayer expense large numbers of Mint products the the new-age “collector” deems unacceptable (read: any coin that doesn’t merit a MS or PF70 grade).

    Two points here. First, the original gripe doesn’t have anything to do with flipping. The complaint is that the mint didn’t release the coins when the gold price was much lower earlier in the year, when it would have been cheaper for the ever-shrinking base of first spouses buyers to get the coin. Given that the high price of the coin is chasing customers off, this isn’t an unreasonable complaint. There is suspicion on the part of some collectors that the sale of the coins was held off in anticipation of high gold prices. I don’t personally believe this, but clearly some people do.

    This hasn’t been helped by the weak explanation of unspecified “problems” striking coins that they have been producing normally since 2007.

    Second, why should consumers accept low quality or damaged coins from the US Mint quietly and without complaining, especially with the premiums they ask? I order frequently from the Perth Mint in Australia and occasionally from the Royal Mint in the UK, and their coins are almost always flawless; is there some reason the US Mint shouldn’t be held to the same standard?

  35. Robertson says

    @Louis:

    I fully understand how the U.S. Mint is financed. I also am aware of the fact that all profit the Mint realizes each year goes directly toward reducing the national debt. Of course, like any other business, the costs the company incurs lowers said profit.

    In the products they sell, the Mint generously bears the expense of return shipping costs for merchandise deemed unsatisfactory by the purchaser, which is generally a fair policy. Unfortunately, this policy gets abused when buyers increasingly return large numbers of perfectly acceptable merchandise (only because they want MS70 and P70 coins to flip for a profit). Costs go up and profits go down. In turn, the impact the Mint’s profits make on the national debt is lessened. In this respect, the taxpayer is the one who ultimately pays for the unscrupulous actions of these so-called collectors who are taking advantage of a generous policy by the Mint only for personal gain. Remember the credit card scandal when the Mint offered uncirculated Native American $1 rolls at face value AND free shipping? That great deal didn’t last very long, did it?

    That’s why I find it laughable whenever I read someone whining about why the Mint does this or the Mint does that, as if they are consciously attempting to “screw” the ordinary collector out of his “hard-earned” cash. Pot, meet kettle.

  36. vaughnster says

    “I fully understand how the U.S. Mint is financed. I also am aware of the fact that all profit the Mint realizes each year goes directly toward reducing the national debt.”

    That is laughable. Their profits ($530 million in 2011) go directly to the Treasury where within a blink of an eye it is spent. The government spends $4 billion dollars a DAY it does not have.

    The amount of people abusing the Mint’s return policy is a very very small group, most likely dealers. Why not address the abuse with this small minority instead of penalizing everyone?

  37. TomP says

    Off Topic:

    Except for the silver proof sets, the silver coins (5 ounce ATBs and Liberty dollars) have gone off market for repricing.

  38. says

    TomP,

    Thanks for the heads-up! Well, we all knew it was probably coming. I am glad I picked up my Hawaii this Monday. Hope everyone who wanted one got in before the suspension.

    Too bad about having to pay the higher price for Denali, but at least we managed to make it to Hawaii.

  39. says

    Not so fast!!!…the last time the AtB’s were suspended, silver was about $36, but it dropped shortly thereafter and the price of the AtB’s never changed. But, I doubt silver is going down much this time.
    Any quesses on a new price? I think $229.95

  40. andy says

    I just spoke to someone at the U.S.Mint. She told me they are not discontinuing the FS bronze medals, but they will not be selling them individually. The Mint will release them only as a set, and probably in December. 🙁

  41. Dan says

    Hey Robertson,

    I know a great way for the mint to save money and to stop all those returns they have to pay for, institute a quality control program that would prevent some of the junk for getting sent out to begin with. There is NO excuser for any numismatic item they sell for not to be a 70. I am collector not a flipper, I have never sold a coin, but have returned many and submitted for reimbursement of the postage. If they were not a monopoly, I would purchase elsewhere since their quality of late leaves something to be desired. Pardon my whinning.

  42. DCDave says

    Can someone please tell me the total silver content value in the commemoratives (infantry and SSB silver UNC still for sale for $49.95 plus shipping) and also the silver quarter sets?

  43. says

    @DCDave…silver dollars, including the commemoratives contain .77344 oz of pure silver. So if silver is $35/oz, they contain $27.07 worth of silver.

  44. Louis says

    Mint sent me new prices, which I will add to an article coming out soon. The ATB’s will be $230.

  45. says

    @DCDave…almost forgot about the quarters set. Each quarter contains .18084 oz of silver, so 5 quarters contain .9042 oz. So at $35/ oz, the silver quarters set has $31.65 of silver value.

    The complete silver proof set, when you add in the dime and half dollar, contains 1.33823 oz of silver. So again, if silver is $35/oz, the complete silver set has $46.84 of pure silver value.

    btw, the dime has .07234 of an oz, the half .36169 of an oz.

  46. says

    Samuel,

    I think one of two things.

    1. It’s possible the process to suspend may take several days. They may have initiated the process some time ago; or

    2. The Mint decided the price is unlikely to fall back under $34 any time soon and decided to just go ahead and reprice up. Possibly the high sales of the Hawaii coin might have provoked things as well.

  47. DCDave says

    I’m thinking Michael will be posting something about the silver pricing soon?
    Anyone think the commems or the annual silver products may also have pricing changes at this $34-$35 level?

  48. Louis says

    DCD- I think the others are okay for now, esp. the commems because of the premium and surcharge and lower melt value.

    The bullion ATB’s are a lot cheaper now.

  49. Mint News Blog says

    New post is up with comments on the suspension, and the new price levels that will go into effect when sales are resumed.

  50. says

    The Alice Paul portrait is great as she was one very attractive woman. The First Spouse series itself though is a poorly conceived and poorly received precious metal numismatic offering. It never has widespread collector support and it will most likely only ever be worth small premiums over gold content value.

  51. phillip says

    It looks like they messed up Alice’s face. Compared to the line drawing, looks like she was in a fight. Maybe better go uncirculated on this one.

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