Today, December 2, 2013 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2013 Helen Taft First Spouse Gold Coins. This continues the rapid fire release of the 2013-dated issues of the series following a delayed design selection phase and production problems.
The obverse of the coin features a front-facing portrait of the First Lady designed by William C. Burgard and engraved by Phebe Hemphill. Following the format of the series, the inscriptions include the First Spouse’s name, order of the Presidency, and dates served, along with “Liberty”, the motto “In God We Trust”, and the date.
The reverse design features a branch of Japanese cherry blossoms, intended to symbolize Helen Taft’s role in bringing the cherry trees to Washington, D.C. The Commission of Fine Arts had praised the abstracted cherry blossom design as a strong symbol. The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee gave the design their strongest possible recommendation and felt that it was elegant, beautiful, and would produce a very attractive coin.
The reverse was designed by Richard Masters and engraved by Charles Vickers. The inscriptions include “United States of America”, the motto “E Pluribus Unum”, the denomination, and precious metal weight and purity.
The 2013 Helen Taft First Spouse Gold Coins are available in proof or uncirculated version, with a maximum mintage of 10,000 pieces across both options. Customer demand will determine the ratio of proof to uncirculated coins within the mintage limit.
Initial pricing will be $815.00 for the proof version and $795.00 for the uncirculated version. The pricing is based on an average weekly gold price within the $1,200 to $1,249.99 range. This represents the lowest initial pricing for a release of the series going back several years.
The next releases of the series will be the Ellen Wilson coin on December 9, 2013, followed by the Edith Wilson coin on December 16, 2013.