On September 2, 2010 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales of the 2010-W James Buchanan’s Liberty First Spouse Gold Coins. This will represent the 16th release in the overall series and the 4th and final release of the “Liberty subset”.
The obverse design of the coin is based on Christian Gobrecht’s Liberty Head Quarter Eagle, minted from 1840 to 1907. Inscriptions have been added indicating “15th Presidency”, the years of the term “1857 1861”, the motto “In God We Trust”, and the date of issue “2010”.
The reverse design features an image of a young James Buchanan working as a bookkeeper in his family’s country store. Surrounding inscriptions include “United States of America”, “E Puluribus Unum”, and the coin’s bullion weight, fineness, and legal tender face value. The reverse was designed by David Westwood and sculpted by Joseph Menna.
The maximum authorized mintage for the Buchanan’s Liberty First Spouse Gold Coin has been set at 15,000 across proof and uncirculated versions. Based on the recent average price of gold, the coins will be priced at $779 and $766 for proof and uncirculated versions, accordingly. There will be no household ordering limits imposed.
On the same date, the US Mint will also begin sales of a 1-5/16 inch bronze medal duplicate. This medal will feature the same design as the gold coin, but with some inscriptions removed. The bronze medals are priced at $5.50 each.
The First Spouse Gold Coins “Liberty Subset”
While the broader series is intended to honor the First Spouses of the United States, four issues of the series feature depictions of Liberty taken from circulating coins issued during the corresponding Presidential term. These designs are used for Presidents who served in office without a spouse. Previously, this has included Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Martin Van Buren. The 21st President Chester A. Arthur also served without a spouse, but the authorizing legislation specifically calls for a design bearing the likeness of Alice Paul, who led a successful campaign for women’s suffrage. She was born during the Presidency of Chester A. Arthur.
The previous designs used for the Liberty subset were from the Draped Bust Half Cent (Jefferson), Capped Bust Lettered Edge Half Dollar (Jackson), and Liberty Seated Dime (Van Buren).
These previous issues each had maximum authorized mintages of 40,000 coins across both proof and uncirculated versions. Only the first managed to reach the maximum, while the others had combined sales less than the maximum established for the upcoming Buchanan’s Liberty coin. The last reported sales figures for the first three issues of the Liberty subset are shown below.
|Van Buren’s Liberty||4,334||7,515||11,849|
Sarah Polk First Spouse Gold Coins
On a final note, when sales of the Buchanan’s Liberty coins begin, sales of the Sarah Polk First Spouse Gold Coins will likely end. These coins originally went on sale September 3, 2009. The US Mint has stated that sales of each issue of the series continue until the maximum authorized mintage is reached, or for approximately one year, whichever comes first. In practice, the Mint has ended sales of each issue when sales for the corresponding issue of the current year begin.
Through September 29, 2010, the US Mint has recorded sales of 3,395 uncirculated and 5,060 proof Sarah Polk coins, for a combined total of 8,455. This amount is higher than the current mintage low for the series, the Julia Tyler First Spouse Gold Coin, which had last reported sales of 2,861 uncirculated and 4,830 proof coins, for a combined total of 7,691.