Frances Cleveland (Second Term) First Spouse Gold Coin

Today, December 20, 2012 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales of the 2012 Frances Cleveland First Spouse Gold Coin representing her husband’s second term in office. Since Grover Cleveland served as President during two non-consecutive terms, two separate coins are required to be issued for the Presidential $1 Coin series as well as the accompanying First Spouse Gold Coin Program.

The Frances Cleveland (Second Term) Gold Coin features a portrait of the First Lady which was designed by Barbara Fox and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The reverse carries a scene of Frances Cleveland greeting the public by the side of her husband. The reverse design by Joseph Menna is intended to represent her popularity with the public.

The coins carry a limit of 13,000 pieces across both proof and uncirculated versions. There are no household ordering limits imposed.

Pricing for the start of sales will be $1,004 for the proof version and $991 for the uncirculated version. This is based on an average gold price within the $1,650 to $1699.99 range. Each coin contains one-half ounce of .9999 fine gold.

As discussed previously, the four 2012 First Spouse Gold Coins experienced a lengthy delay due to production problems. The first coin featuring Alice Paul Suffragist was released on October 11, followed by Frances Cleveland (First Term) on November 15, and Caroline Harrison on December 6. The latest release will mean that all four coins have been released over the course of only ten weeks, which is sure to put a strain on some collectors.

Looking ahead, disruptions for the series may continue into the following year. None of the five 2013 First Spouse Gold Coins were included on the preliminary 2013 product release schedule recently provided by the US Mint. In fact, the US Mint has not yet submitted design candidates for review to the Commission of Fine Arts and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. The series is legally required to continue under the Presidential $1 Coin Act.

Unless the US Mint starts to move more quickly, we may see another hurried release with all five coins issued in the closing days of the year. The 2013 releases will feature Ida McKinley, Edith Roosevelt, Helen Taft, Ellen Wilson, and Edith Wilson.

Today, the United States Mint will also be releasing the 2012 First Spouse Bronze Medal Four Medal Set and the Grover Cleveland (Second Term) Presidential $1 Coin & First Spouse Medal Set. I will have coverage of these products tomorrow.

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  1. KEITHSTER says

    Opp’s 911 I wish I’d take a couple then but maybe if it keeps going down??? Good luck to all!!!

  2. Louis says

    I think people need time to save their nickels up for next year’s coins, so another delay is okay with me.

  3. William says

    The price of gold is falling like a rock.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, perhaps we should keep our powder dry until after the New Year…

    Happy Holidays

  4. Brad says

    You know, in the art version Frances looked WAY better on the first-term coin. But in the actual coin rendition, she looks much better on the second-term coin!

    Yeah, under ordinary circumstances I would have went ahead and pulled the trigger for all eight coins today. However, with the house closing looming and the price of gold ‘falling like a rock” as William said, I’ll still hold off for now. With today’s low price fixes in the calculation and the added advantage of the pm fix not overriding next week’s average, at least the price will not go back up before the house closing. Heck, it might even go down another tier! As long as the Alice Paul Unc doesn’t sell out in the meantime…

  5. Kraw says

    Ag under $30, lets get those Denali uncirculated 5 ozs back to $205, come on Mint, give us a xmas present…

  6. KEITHSTER says

    I pulled the trigger on two of these don’t normaly get 2 but thinking it may be the lower mintage one. Any one care to chime in on which will be the lowest for 2012?? I’m thinking the Caroline but might get two of the first Frances’s if the price drops somemore should anyway.Also got some four packs to keep my $$ company.Also looks like we’ll have plenty of time to save tjhe nickels with the Mints no action on the metal change.Good luck ya all$$$

  7. Zaz says

    What a unloved series. How difficult is it to do portrait heads and a scene symbolic of each FS? And next year will be a repeat of 2009 with FIVE releases! Ugh. Considering the 2014 quarter designs have already been reviewed by the CCAC and the CFA, the Mint surely dotes on these FS coins.

    I sprung for the Alice Paul proof when it dropped back down to $1004 this week. I have one other coin only, Jackson’s Liberty, and I’ll probably spring for the Jackie O coin in 2015. Otherwise it’s the medal set which should have either been 26.5mm equivalents in .999 1/2 ag. Oh well, one could always dream.

  8. HistoryStudent says

    This whole set just keeps getting worse on mintages.

    Soon we’ll see numbers from THE VERY early 1800s. Say 1,500 ish.

    MINT STATES Minted – PROOFS Minted

    Washington MS 17661 >18k – Washington PF 19167 >20k
    Adams I MS 17142 >18k – Adams I PF 17149 >18k
    Jefferson MS 19823 >20k – Jefferson PF 19815 >20k
    Madison MS 12340 >13k – Madison PF 17943 >18k
    Monroe MS 4462 >5k – Monroe PF 7800 >8k
    Adams II MS 3885 >4k – Adams II PF 6581 >7k
    Jackson MS 4609 >5K – Jackson PF 7684 >8k
    Van Buren MS 3826 >4k – Van Buren PF 6807 >7k
    Harrison MS 3645 >4k – Harrison PF 6251 >7k
    Tyler I MS 3240 >4k – Tyler I PF 5296 >6k
    Tyler II MS 3143 >4k – Tyler II PF 4844 >5k
    Polk MS 3489 >4k – Polk PF 5151 >6k
    Taylor MS 3629 >4k – Taylor PF 4941 >5k
    Fillmore MS 3482 >4k – Fillmore PF 6130 >7k
    Pierce MS 3338 >4k – Pierce PF 4775 >5k
    Buchanan MS 5162 >6k – Buchanan PF 7110 >8k
    Lincoln MS 3695 >4k – Lincoln PF 6766 >7k
    Johnson MS 2905 >3k – Johnson PF 3907 >4K
    Grant MS 2873 >3k – Grant PF 3969 >4K
    Hayes MS 2260 >3k – Hayes PF 3850 >4K
    Garfield MS 2498 >3k – Garfield PF 3542 >4K
    Paul – Authur 2038 >3k – Paul – Authur 2737 >4K
    Cleveland I 1607 >3k – Cleveland I 2221 >4K
    Harrison MS 1120 >3k – Harrison PF 1672 >4K
    Sub total MSs 131872 Sub total PFs 176108

  9. HistoryStudent says

    In 30 years the folks will look at these like they did

    the 1915 Pan-Am San Francisco set of $50 round and octagon that now go for
    a cool half-million dollars in MS69s. Of course next year from now with the QE ~ to a lazy eight – and that extra trillion hits they will go for a MILLION then.

    PS this is like Die Hard 3 and all the cops are gone and gold is like in Mexico “Almost Free!”

  10. EvilFlipper says

    If the FS coins ever catch on it’ll be a loooooong time in the future. At least the Pan Am were a one off deal. There will be at least 25 of these puppies I the low mintage category. There’s lots of looooow mintage 2 and 3 cent coins that don’t fetch what some of the mOre popular low mintage coins (dollars, halves, quarters) fetch. Low mintage isn’t everything. It has to have an attractive design and a good following to make a big difference.

  11. posterhunter says

    I like this coin better than the first term coin, but the mint needed to hire portrait artists to do these coins.

  12. Ikaika says

    @ HistoryStudent

    You have changed your time line from 100 years to 30 years for the price of the FS low mintage coins to reach the levels you keep mentioning. First, your assumption is solely based on mintage number. Not collectors interest. What good is a low mintage coin if nobody wants it. Are you predicting that 30 years from now suddenly people will wake up and say “Hey, these coins aren’t ugly anymore so I want them”. Second, even if they do ever reach these half million dollar levels, I am sure collectors like most of us will go to the bank and withdraw the money from our account to buy a few or reach under the mattress. You need to have demand to drive prices higher, but up to the half million dollar mark? C’mon man!

  13. Leo S. says

    All this recent gold selling is due to investors who have big capital gains on the gold they purchased in 2012 and earlier. They are sell to avoid paying 20% capital gains rather than the 15% they will pay with their 2012 tax return. After the end of the year buying will pick up again so there will be a window in late Dec and early Jan. 2013 (assuming the world doesn’t end) to get the FS at the lower price.

  14. says

    It has to have an attractive design and a good following to make a big difference.

    Absolutely agree. Despite how poorly commemorative coins usually perform, I think there is more potential for things like the Medal of Honor or gold SSB than many of the first spouses (though some do have decent designs).

  15. Rick says

    I like this one more so than most all others with the exception of the Liberty coins. She is quite attractive and pleasant looking here, I’m in.

  16. Leo S. says

    To Collectors Who Hate the FS Coins.

    I know that most of you seem to dislike the FS coins and think them ugly, disgusting and not worthy of collecting. Once the set is complete, the gold value will be around $136000 for a full set of proof and unc. Most of you think that no one will be interested in this set. But this set is not for us middle class collectors who cannot afford even the bullion value, it will be for the very rich who can afford to spend hundreds of thousands or millions for something very rare. Even if the Hayes coin at 2200+/- is the low mintage, there can only be 2200 sets. If you subtract out those who collect the Liberty Subset, those that purchased individual coins and stuck them away somewhere, etc, etc. there may be even fewer full sets available over time. Also to consider, this particular set of Commems is one of kind. The Mint has never minted a set of Commems that covered 10 years. You can bad-mouth this set all you want but my prediction is that this set will be a good investment within a few years after it is completed. JMO

  17. joe says

    I expect the series (and maybe even a single coin) to go for a cool half-million in the next few years, but only because of Bernanke’s “helicopter” printing policy…i.e., QE to infinity and beyond…. I just can’t believe people are foolish enough to elect (and re-elect) leaders that support such a clown!

  18. DCDave says

    Not sure if I agree. The Hayes, especially the UNC, is ugly and undesirable.
    Low mintage, low demand.

  19. Louis says

    I would not hazard to make a guess about future value. There are too many unknown variables. What I do know is some people like and enjoy the FS series, and then there are all these FS series haters to are so determined to try to prove what a bad series it is and how foolish people are to collect it. The facts are the facts, and people who have collected from the beginning are doing just fine and if they are still collecting, it’s because they enjoy it. I call for a true between the pro and anti FS camps.

    Also, I disagree the Hayes is ugly, not to mention it sells for three times what it cost a year ago. If you think there is no demand, ask John Maben why he pays so much for it.

    Also, demand is hard to predict years down the road. Jackie Robinson coins were not in demand for a long time, nor were the BU Library if Congress coins, which us why they are worth so much today. Everyone was pooh poohing the prospects for the SSB UNC just days ago. The usual refrain of the new normal of lower lows. Now many of you are singing are different tune. Happy Holidays.

  20. phillip says

    I dunno, some coin guys think coins with guys on them are beautiful and coins with chicks on them are “ugly”. I’m tolerant of their preferences.

  21. phillip says

    As for lemonade Lucy Hayes, she is one of the coolest looking obverse coins in the collection in proof, with the reverse depicting the WH easter egg hunt! Hayes banned alcohol in the WH was a proponent of banning slavery in the nation. Good stuff.

  22. ClevelandRocks says

    @Phillip: spare us your humor that doesn’t work.
    Other than the Liberty series, the Julia Tyler is the only FS with a nice obverse and reverse. This will hold premiums even with higher mintages than other FS coins due to folks wanting nice looking coins, and not wanting coins that don’t look nice. Aesthetics is important to numismatics.
    @Louis: bet the Hayes will plummet in value when we get a new low.
    I think there is a good chance that the final audited #s will show the UNC Lucretia Garfield ending up with lower sales than the Hayes.

  23. Ericb says

    Three of my four garfield pcgs ms70 now have light orange toning
    May be hard to sell when they become the new key soon.
    who knows why

  24. Brad says

    Is there a link to some sort of official source of the “final, audited numbers” for the First Spouse coins? I’ve only seen them in blogs and such, but I’ve never seen where they actually come from. They don’t seem to be on the Mint’s website.

    I don’t know if the Garfield coin will end up being lower mintage than the Hayes or not. It doesn’t seem too likely based on my own experience. I placed an order for the Lucy Hayes immediately after the backorder notice appeared, and after two months it was cancelled. However, I placed four individual orders for the Garfield immediately after the backorder notice appeared, and after a lengthy delay all four were fulfilled. So, it seems that when the Hayes went on backorder, it was already too late. Based on that along with the lower reported sales number, it probably is the lower mintage coin.

  25. William says

    We all know that when the President to be becomes a woman rather than a man the first spouse coins will get a lot of attention.

    How about a Clinton first spouse coin, Bill Clinton that is…

    Hey, wait a minute, isn’t the world suppose to end today?

    Still Living in Arizona

  26. ABC says

    It’s only supposed to be a 10 year program. I thought the series was supposed to end with Nixon’s presidency.

  27. MarkInFlorida says

    If it ends with Nixon, the 37th president, then there would be 74 coins at 1/2 oz. each meaning 37 ounces. With gold at $1700 an ounce that would be $62,900 for the set. How’d you get $136,000, Leo?

  28. Jon in CT says

    Leo S. wrote on December 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm:

    All this recent gold selling is due to investors who have big capital gains on the gold they purchased in 2012 and earlier. They are sell to avoid paying 20% capital gains rather than the 15% they will pay with their 2012 tax return. After the end of the year buying will pick up again so there will be a window in late Dec and early Jan. 2013 (assuming the world doesn’t end) to get the FS at the lower price.

    Your understanding of how the gains of precious metal coins are taxed in the US is completely wrong. Here’s a link to an informative article about this topic:

  29. Stevedoc22 says

    This is just my opinion.

    The FS coins — with the exception of the Liberty versions — never attracted me. They are not that attractive, there are too many of them and the whole concept escapes me. These were women married to the President. That’s nice! What are we really commemorating? Now the Liberty versions make a nice – much easier to collect – series within the series, and sport beautiful and classic Liberty designs that harken back to old “real” coins.

    Somebody mentioned the 1915 Pan-Pacific comm. set as a comparison, but those coins are awesome (shape, design) and almost 100 yrs old.

    just IMO

  30. Smiledon says

    People collect coins for the history, investment, and for the fun of it. Me, I do it for all of the above. I buy what I can afford. I buy what I support. The first spouse series is another way for the US Mint to make money. In time, money will cease to exist, and then what about all the coins that we have collected that is not bullion, or precious metals? I am not a fan of the FS coins; to each, their own. If I had the money, I would get the platinum American eagles. No matter what the coin is, the metal is what will drive the price up, in the long run. Gold was under $400.00 in the past, and any one that has a gold bullion coin from that time is, well, in good shape.

    This is my 2 cents over the FS debate.

  31. Wylson says

    Jon in CT,

    yes Leo is off. It wouldn’t matter for gold selling it’s taxed at the taxpayer’s marginal rate.

    The tax rates he is quoting are for qualified dividends.

  32. says

    re: Mint schedule with prices…

    WHAT is the Mint thinking? ATB 5 oz coins…$244.95…

    At the current price of $229.95 and silver @30.16(as I post this) that’s $150.80….over a 50% mark-up.

    If they sold the 1 oz Gold Proof Eagle with that mark-up, it the sell for $2485 ($1657 x 1.5)

    And they are thinking about increasing the ATB’s…I was hoping they would adjust them back to $204.95

  33. phillip says

    @cleveland. Julia Tyler coin is nice, but pretty much the same as the others. I wouldn’t count on your own personal aesthetic values driving price, at any rate. And since you have expressed strong dislike for every other coin in this series, often challenging the decision to have these women on coins at all, I kind of discount the opinion. In terms of hotness, I’d go with Louisa Adams.
    @stevedoc. Many collect only the old timey designs of the spouseless Presidents and that is their preference. Those coins already existed on another platform and might not be as interesting to others as time goes by. Certainly the safe choice, though not very imaginative. After collecting buffalos for 4 years I gave it up because, you know, every year it was a buffalo on one side and a Native American on the other. Plus a whole bunch of similar looking nickles out there…

  34. Saucexx says

    The problem with these is that ultimately they should have been silver. The price point would’ve been less which I think would’ve increased interest. 74 $1 silver coins at $55 each is $4,070 vs $65K+ for the gold. Big difference.

  35. Jon in CT says

    Wylson wrote in December 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm:

    [i]yes Leo is off. It wouldn’t matter for gold selling it’s taxed at the taxpayer’s marginal rate.[/i]

    Still wrong. There’s a different capital gains tax rate on collectibles (coins) versus other financial investments. I believe our fearless blogmaster is a CPA and can confirm/deny.

  36. RSF says

    With a Product List a mile long for next year and nary a mention of the FS gold coins, (even a TBD like last year) might the series have ended early?
    Has anyone found any stated commitment by the Mint as to next year’s production?

  37. Leo S. says

    To MarkInFlorida

    You are correct. Leo S. is an idiot. I multiplied $1700 times the number of FS, not the number of the set.

    To Jon in CT

    I was not talking about those of us who buy the coins but rather the gold and silver contract and other types of gold investments. It is these individuals that are selling their type of gold investment before the end of year. If I am wrong on this taxation question, then Leo S. is an idiot twice.

  38. Louis says

    I am not sure how paper metals are taxed, but I do know that bullion and collectible coins are all taxed at 28% capital gains no matter what your own rate is. It’s somethig that really needs to change.

    RSF- I can guarantee you the FS series is not ending early. They are not on the schedule because the designs have not been reviewed yet. They will be issued, but probably late like this year.

    On Hayes vs. Garfield, I know for a fact that Garfield is lower direct from the Mint, but the market does not know this yet. It’s because so many garfield orders were cancelled. Anyway, they are very close. Anyone making predictions about the 2012 FS coins is quite frankly being silly. No offense, but those are the facts. They will be sold for many months, and there is absolutely no way to know at this point.

  39. Ikaika says

    @ Louis

    Do you feel that the FS series may be canceled before the end of the program? If so, it will have a major impact on collectors because who would want to collecting half of a series or something like that. Even those who have money to spend, why would they want to invest on a incomplete series? I my opinion, low mintage alone won’t do it as some in this blog have preached. To be fair, there are a few coins within the series worth buying. The Liberty series is one, Letitia Tyler and now the Francis Cleveland secondary term are pretty ladies. The C. Harrison has a botanical look to it, which I like and may considered buying one.

  40. says

    Please forgive my collecting OCD, but I got sucked back into this series after sitting on the fence once Alice Paul was released. I don’t know, but it seems to me the longevity of the series keeps piquing my interest…yet at the same time, I can’t wait until I no longer have the desire to scratch this itch.

    I do believe, though, that this series will reward the patient far beyond the bullion. It’s a matter of when, though. It could be a long time. Someone else had mentioned the analogy of 1915 and I agree. Horrible economies seem to combine with other numismatic perfect storms and, on a long enough timeline, turn dogs into champs.

    Will this be that series? Quite possible. I certainly made my pro/con list before I even started collecting it.

  41. ABC says

    If the mint decided to end the series now, it would not mean that those collecting them would only have “half” a series. The “collection” would consist of all the coins from Washington to Cleveland since no further first spouse coins would be minted. The set would be easier and cheaper to collect.

  42. simon says

    IMHO the most satisfying numismatic reward is owning something you really like. If you like it, and can buy it, go right ahead; does not matter if it is an FS coin or a plain vanilla mint set. I picked up several of the mint sets because they have gem quality strikes of the Native American dollars, which to my eye are highly desirable.

    The antithesis if you believe TPG / PCGS values is that you could have an MS Sacagawea dollar or Lincoln cent worth in the thousands, in high-grade encapsulation, despite base metal composition and mintage of millions.

  43. Craig Thomas says


    The FS series will continue through Pat Nixon. It is mandated by Congress. So there are no worries about it being canceled unless Congress would pass legislation to stop it. This is highly unlikely. The bigger issues are how many coins are produced for each FS, (proof and mint), and when they are released, (like this year). They have to be minted during the year dated. So as of next week, no more FS coins for the 2012 year can be minted. So the question arises, how many did they make and how many are left?

  44. Brad says

    Betty Ford qualifies to be on a First Spouse coin as well, but has not yet been added to the schedule for some reason. Maybe the Mint will get around to it eventually.

    It looks like there won’t be another price decrease this week, since the yellow metal has rebounded enough to keep the average in the current pricing tier. There probably won’t even BE any more price fixes for this week’s calculation, due to Christmas. I’m thinking this morning’s am fix will be the last one, since last year there weren’t any fixes after 12/23 am until 12/28 am.

  45. Jon in CT says

    Brad wrote on December 24, 2012 at 9:56 am:

    It looks like there won’t be another price decrease this week, since the yellow metal has rebounded enough to keep the average in the current pricing tier. There probably won’t even BE any more price fixes for this week’s calculation, due to Christmas. I’m thinking this morning’s am fix will be the last one, since last year there weren’t any fixes after 12/23 am until 12/28 am.

    Dec 25 (Christmas) and Dec 26 (Boxing Day) are bank holidays in England. Last year Dec 25 fell on a Sunday, so Dec 27 became a bank holiday. This year there are no afternoon gold fixings on Dec 24 and Dec 31. So you are correct that the Mint’s price for gold coins will not change this week.

  46. says

    So much negative criticism for the spouse coins! I LIKE them and collect them! The ladies are all pretty and contributed to this great nation! The detail on the spouse coins is a delight (the hair, the detail on the dresses their contributions stated simply). Behind every great man has been a GREAT woman! Not every president was/is a good looking fellow yet I don’t find them to be ugly coins! Seems like if you don’t like the series, then it would be a good thing to just move on to something else in coin collecting as there is plenty to choose from! I would like the spouse coins to be much better spaced in 2013 as my gripe is they came out too close together and that made collecting them difficult! Some of us have a limited amount of cash to purchase history at its finest!

  47. IndianaGeorge says

    Received my Cleveland 2 proof & mint on 12/28 and am returning the mint, It had a spot or metal depression clearly visible to the naked eye on the reverse. First problem I’ve encountered with any of the prior issues. I also saw a Lucy H. PCGS MS70 go for $2500. on E-Bay recently.

  48. les c says

    the late issues of first spouse is really putting a strain on the wallet.hope they go back to issuing in 3 month incriments gold is going back up to 1700 on 1 3 13

  49. phillip says

    Frances 2 came today and she looks great on the obverse with the little curls and pearls. Not so nutz about the reverse, some of these designs with multiple people are just too small for my tired old eyes. Give me a big flower or something.

  50. HistoryStudent says

    I wish they all came out in 2000 – all 40 of them in UNC and PF because of the gold prices going along with the worlds’ printing machines. Would have been a hell of a hedge. Here’s a listing of end-of-the-year gold prices:

    2000 — $273.60

    2001 — $279.00

    2002 — $348.20

    2003 — $416.10

    2004 — $438.40

    2005 — $518.90

    2006 — $638.00

    2007 — $838.00

    2008 — $889.00

    2009 — $1096.50

    2010 — $1421.40

    2011 — $1566.80

    2012 — $1688.00

  51. HistoryStudent says

    @ Louis

    You are very astute for so many follow the herd. Imagine when the FS UNC start to dive under 2,000 one-by-one. And the FS PF start to go below 3,000.

    Frankly, I expect numbers EVEN way below 1,500 MS and 2,500 PF in the next few years. The Mint mints toward demand and these are really falling. Not to mention all the problems that are having recently in MINTING.

    These numbers are in the lowest coins ever made by the mint in 200 years when they had only a few million people not 310 Million like now.

  52. les says

    on the mintages .you are right on they would be even lower if the big flippers slow down that way in the future they would become even more rare and valuable . hope so

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