Today, November 14, 2013 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2013 Ida McKinley First Spouse Gold Coins. This represents the first release of the series for this year, following a lengthy delay due to production problems.
The obverse design of the coin features a portrait of the First Lady which was designed by Susan Gamble and engraved by Phebe Hemphill. The inscriptions include “Ida McKinley”, “In God We Trust”, “Liberty”, the “2013” date, the order of the Presidency “25th”, and the dates in office “1897-1901”.
The reverse design shows two hands crocheting, framed within a decorative border, designed by Donna Weaver and engraved by Renata Gordon. The image is intended to represent Ida McKinley’s work crocheting thousands of slippers that were auctioned off for charity. Inscriptions include “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, the denomination of “$10”, and the precious metal weight and purity of “1/2 oz .9999 Fine Gold”.
Initial pricing for the coins will be $820 for the uncirculated version of the coin and $840 for the proof version. These prices are based on an average gold price within the range of $1,250 to $1,299.99. The price of the coins may be adjusted weekly based on changes in the average price of gold.
The US Mint has indicated a mintage limit of 10,000 coins across the proof and uncirculated versions. Customer demand will determine the ratio of proof to uncirculated coins within the mintage limit. There are no ordering limits imposed.
This year, the First Spouse Gold Coin Program will include a total of five different releases, with the release dates compressed into a very narrow time frame. There are five releases as opposed to the typical four releases since Woodrow Wilson had a first and second wife while in office. The narrow time frame is the result of production problems which delayed the release of the coins until late in the year.
In 2012, the First Spouse Coins were also delayed and all four releases took place at short intervals. Although this situation was likely a strain on some collector budgets, the overall sales figures did not push beneath the lows established by some early sell outs for the 2011 releases.
As mentioned in a previous post, it seems that the series has receded in popularity to a small group of collectors motivated to stay with the series to its completion despite any inconveniences created by the release schedule. This year, lower gold prices may actually entice some collectors back into the series. The initial pricing for a new release has not been this low since back in 2010.
Today, the US Mint will also begin sales for the 2013 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set, which was covered in this previous post.