Ida McKinley First Spouse Gold Coin

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.

Ida McKinley Gold Coin

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.

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  1. MarkInFlorida says

    Wow, 10 half ounce gold coins in 6 weeks! Sales results will be interesting.

    I would be collecting the set if I had been able to buy the first 4, but the Mint’s poor planning shut me out so I’ll sit on the sidelines and watch the show.

  2. Brad says

    They’re “backordered” until 11/29, what gives with that?

    Also, the Alice Paul unc has NOT been taken off-sale. No real surprise there.

  3. VABEACHBUM says

    Given where spot gold and series pricing were a year ago, it’s just nice to see the good guys getting a break for once. Still, hard to believe the series started in 2007 at ~ $450.00 per coin. Good luck to the stalwart followers that remain.

  4. JagNut says

    No need to buy them all by the end of the year, they will still be available this time next year. Plus, if you save your money, I’m sure at some point in the next 12-months you will be able to pick them up a little cheaper… Just Saying!

  5. Frankie says

    This is one of the ugliest and most pointless coin series in modern times; actually all times!
    The sales figures alone show the ‘love’ being paid to these coins by numismatists.
    Furthermore, who can afford to keep up collecting these, esp. since they are and have been bunched up towards the end of the year?
    It just doesn’t make sense…
    These coins will be worth spot one day and I can only hope for those who collect these that spot will be $2k/oz!

  6. Brad says


    Oh ye of little faith! Everybody knows that the items no one wants while for sale at the Mint are the same items that end up being “golden” down the road!

    Seriously, as one of the collectors of this series who plans to do his best to see it through to the end, it’s been fun. A little frustrating the past couple of years, but still fun. And as far as having the coins all grouped together at the end of the year instead of spread out, it’s really only a matter of timing. Before, we were spending the money more evenly throughout the year, that’s true. But with them all being released at the end of the year now, you just have to discipline yourself to save the money that you would have spent along the way on the coins each quarter so you will have it available when the coins DO come out at the end. Now, if they were releasing all of the coins in January each year, THEN we would have a problem! But, as long as you’ve had the opportunity to save up the money for them all year (since they weren’t being released along the way), it’s basically “six of one, a half-dozen of the other.”

  7. Jake says

    The reverse has to be the worst of all time. Two hands crocheting??? Really, the US mint could not come up with something better?

  8. Boz says

    I agree with Brad. All it takes is one major dealer to hype up a coin, like Jackie Robinson” or state that something is a “key” to a series.

  9. KEITHSTER says

    Ya what’s up with the backorder didn’t get till 12:23 was the backorder there from the getgo? Or did the big boys get the #’s ready to go again like they have and ordered enough to play keep away fron little joe so they can corner the er or fs labels? Was going to wait on this one but instead srambled to get the funds into the bank and pow thanks but were not ready yet could you wait a while till the big boys look um over willlet you know which ones they dont want but thanks for your order? Hope they get their bm together and actually have some ready to go on the next 4? Who needs luck we have the mint? O well good luck anyway:)

  10. thePhelps says

    I think the series is a mixed bag… if I had committed to it this far – I’d be hard pressed to stop now. There won’t be that many completed sets when it is all done. While that is a considerable cost – and a daunting task it might be to sell in the future – I’d almost risk it at this point.

    Contrary to some I like many of the images on the coins – I just didn’t see the need to make these in gold. I’d more likely have bought the medals and called it a day myself. 🙂

  11. ClevelandRocks says

    VARich and all: the Mint has taken the fun out of collecting with never ending products (2011 circulating quarters still available) and backorders for most stuff I’ve been interested in. The hobby may be dying…
    The classic ASE has gone the way of circus coinage.
    Too much is being offered my the Mint, and too much focus on a PF70 v. PF69 when they all basically look about the same except the third party packaging…
    Oh, forgot to complain about the PC coinage…

  12. fmtransmitter says

    Pick and choose, pick and choose. Buy what YOU like IMHO. The Mint is working with Perth etc now, first curved, maybe some piefort’s down the road. Stay excited folks, trust me, this is a growing hobby!!

  13. VA Bob says

    ClevelandRocks – you’re right. I’ll be so happy when this PC era of coinage is over. It seems to me that many of the special interests that Congress (via the Mint) is trying to focus on, hardly even collect coins (my own opinion based on dismal sales). Perhaps they need to focus more on what collectors want, instead of people that have little or no interest, and may never even see the coins made in their honor. We need another renaissance in coin making, like the one TR ushered in during the early 1900’s and brought us some of our most beloved classics. Surely there can be a new twist on it, or are we that artistically bankrupt?

  14. hawkster says


    Don’t like the crocheting reverse on Ms. McKinley? You don’t get the Mint’s point? Or should I say needlepoint? Your comment had me in stitches. You probably think that the Mint is just needling us.

  15. VARich says

    OT – Just FYI –

    Ran into this guy over the summer at an art festival that uses a laser to cut out coins for money clips, etc… rather unique and intricate detail is impressive – thought I’d pass along –

  16. fmtransmitter says

    Yea, I saw those awhile back VARich, pretty cool. There is also the puzzle pieces silver eagles that are neat.

  17. Erik H says

    I just received my two 5 oz Mt Rushmore “P” and I have to say the 3 inch canvas makes for a nice coin. However both my coins have issues. One has a big gash on Georges Head (obverse side). The other has minor flaws that I just might keep because I don’t want to get somebody else’s reject. I might have to get a graded one for my collection instead of going back and forth with the mint.

  18. MarkInFlorida says

    Those laser cut out coins used to be hand made in the 1960s with a very thin coping saw. When I was about 15 I took 3 buses to get to a tool store that had the saw so I could make some for myself. Real slow process cutting by hand, and if a blade broke it wasn’t cheap (for a kid)!

  19. Jerry Diekmann says

    I have to agree with several of you in this is a series that should never have been contemplated, much less minted, and in gold instead of just medals, which are avialble, but no one talks about them, as they have no PM in them. I have the disheartening feeling that the Mint is becoming another RCM or Perth Mint, churning out way too many coins every year that would bankrupt a rich man if he tried to collect them all.

    A little off topic, but here’s my suggestion – for the 2016 silver American eagle, change the reverse for that year so that it is the same as the reverse on the Walking Liberty half dollars from 1916 to 1947. That would give collectors an opportunity to see this beautiful coin in proof, as there are so few available any more, and at very high prices. I am awre that the CCAC shot down the Min’t’s idea about using classic designs on current coins, but herer is an example that deserves to be an exception. Also, precedent has been set with the 2013 Buffalo nickel gold coins. The Walking Liberty half dollar, IMO, is every bid as fine a design as the Buffalo nickel, and more beautiful, plus it was designed better and you never have a problem on seeing the date on even a very well worn WL half dollar.

  20. Dustyroads says

    Nice idea’s Jerry, the popularity of the gold Buffalo coin should serve as an example of what the US Mint could expect if it were to reuse the reverse of the Walking Liberty. Regardless of what the CCAC suggests, there are endless avenues of possibilities.

  21. Sam says

    Wasn’t there some legislation announced when these coins were first issued stating that the previous coin would be retired when the next annual issue came out. I seemed to recall a couple of issuances meeting this retirement deadline and being pulled from the US Mint site. In fact it creating a pretty good buying opportunity.

  22. Wes says

    Have to agree the mint has gone overboard and should have stopped with the ASE special sets with the 2011 25th anniversary set. I have noticed it is maintaining it’s value as the 2012 and especially the 2013 anniversary sets have been in decline.

  23. fmtransmitter says

    I agree at just over $100 profit, the FS coins are not a BAD deal. I know when gold was way up, previous followers of this series deserve this break. I know Sunshine Minting is a major supplier of silver planchets, do they also supply the gold? If anyone knows…Thanks in advance…

  24. says

    @KEITHSTER, I feel like you do! We waited for these coins to come out and now they won’t be shipped until later????? YES, it makes me think the BIG GUYS get first chance on looking them over before the little collector gets to see them! I hurried to get my order in hoping I would be seeing it next Tuesday. This is a crummy time of the year for shipping with the holidays and all better to send them off asap after they are ordered JMHO!!

  25. VARich says

    Looks like a day for day slip on the McKinley, dang, you guys can’t get a break! Why even release it if the first of the year’s series goes directly to the penalty box?

    Impressive story Mark, talk about having some patience at that age, sure they turned out quite nice!

  26. stephen m says

    Wes, I would have to say the 2013 special ASE set will catch up with the 2012 & 2011 after enough time goes by for folks to forget about the slow shipping, big boys serviced first, high priced graded sets and the complete experience that has a lot of folks turned off to the WP set.

  27. Larry says

    Still hoping the mint does a 2016 Proof Standing Liberty Quarter for the 100 year anniversary of my favorite coin. A reverse proof of that coin would have to be a great coin! Listening US Mint? Please?

  28. says

    @Erik K …. Were I you, I would definitely go through the trouble of returning the P-Mint Mt. Rushmore coins back to the Mint with a note complaining of the quality. Don’t automatically assume that the Mint will “give you somebody else’s rejects”. In 15 years of buying U.S. Mint products I have had just one 1/2 oz. W platinum that I had to return & THAT was for a damaged presentation case.
    The replacement coin was as good, if not better.
    I only collect one of each P Mint ATB 5 oz. and so far, every coin has been of excellent quality, no spots or blemishes, and the OGP was fresh and clean with good clear capsules. If I were to get one of the 2014s with just so much as damaged OGP, I would surely return it.

  29. fmtransmitter says

    @Jerry Diekmann: I collect the medal FS set. I have a beautiful album made just for them I keep them in and makes quite a nice presentation for not a lot of fiat. I have mentioned before and even shared the link to where I found the album as a fellow blogger had been searching for one.

  30. Leo S. says

    To Mrs. McKinley detractors

    Mrs. McKinley had epilepsy and was unable to be a full time First Lady. She did what she could to make the world a better place and she should be praised for that and we should not make light of her efforts. If you don’t like the series than collect something else. Also, I know we would all like to get the FS coins as soon as possible, but we have waited all year, so what’s another few weeks. Lets all just mellow out and enjoy the hobby.

  31. VABEACHBUM says

    This goes out to the folks on this Board who also follow Michael’s World Coin Blog. I apologize in advance for the OT, but I knew some of you might be interested.

    Krause Pubs has identified their 10, 2014 Coin of the Year “Category” Winners, who now will go head to head for Overall COTY. From my perspective, a couple of surprises. However, probably no surprise that, once again, the US Mint’s two nominations went Oh-fer against the other, world Mints’ submissions.

    The article can be found here:

  32. MarkInFlorida says

    Got my bullion Rushmore pucks today from both APMEX and Provident. Provident’s have that look like they were rubbed with a rough cloth, APMEX are more mirror like. Provident had better Ft. McHenry, and APMEX had better White Mountain, so it’s 2 to 1.

  33. smiledon says

    I just took a look @ that post about the coins.
    All I saw was bling.
    Glow in the dark coins? A blue hand? Have we lost what is truly art? The coins that I looked at are great technological marvels, but is that art? Maybe I am just getting old.

  34. dan says

    For what its worth, my 2 McKinley FS coins just went from backorder to in stock and reservedd with the order in process.

  35. KEITHSTER says

    Thank’s dan mine too this noon it was 11-30 now instock with button 🙂 My thing was I had to jump and scramble to get to the money in the bank being an average joe it’s not easy to come up with that kind of dough? So to have to hold on to it for a couple of extra weeks is about as easy! Glad they got it together but it will mean less cancells o well can’t have it both ways? Bet it still might not ship till the 30th for new orders though thats seems to be the magic rolling date on all backorders like the P NA $ 250 BOX Good luck all:>

  36. TMMSR says

    @ Dan, thanks for the update, I am looking forward to receiving my coins, which currently show “backordered.”

  37. dan says

    Hey Keithster and TMMSR

    I just checked the order again and now ther cancel box is gone which leads me to believe that they will be on the way with 1-2 business days. This has happened a few other times when I order them right away and they immediatedly indicated backordered only to ship 2 days later. I noticed that the backorder is still on the web site for the proof coins, I should have mentioned that I ordered 2 uncirculated coins and not proof coins.

    I know that this has been a tough year for many both in regard to collecting and just living in general, but since I am in for the long haul on this set, I have always budgeted for them. Since last years were considerably more, it looks like I will have a few extra dollars for around the holidays if prices stay here or drift lower. ANyway keep budgeting and enjoy your sets.

  38. says

    My proof FS is In stock and reserved. Ordered at 12:01 EST! Why would uncirculated coins ship sooner???? If one checks late on Sunday there should be an indication of if it ships soon or not!

  39. POP says

    Jumping in. My FS order (one proof & two uncs) placed on 11/14/13 was originally scheduled to ship on 11/29 (WHAT!) But today I notice credit card has been charged & the “cancel” boxes are gone.

    I also was expecting to see the Alice Paul’s disappear when the Mrs. McKinley went on sale. Seem to remember that’s the way it used to be?

    Received Mount Rushmore 5 oz P’s. Really nice quality coins. I thought the art was “unusual” and that’s why I purchased. But my humble opinion of Mount Rushmore is – they defaced the mount. A sacred place to the local Native Americans.

  40. Zaz says

    If you have this series in its entirety that’s 25oz of au, impressive. Even just the proofs or the uncs. is 25 coins through 2012. At the end in 2016, there will be 40 individual coins and will be a monumental achievement for those of you that have gone/will be going the distance. I salute your fortitude and patience. The Mint has not made it easy to acquire these coins, and they probably would’ve given up after ’09 if it wasn’t for the authorizing legislation. Anyone with complete set gonna ask Capital Plastics to adapt their #400PD Presidental Dollar holder for the gold coins? If adapted, it’s just missing one opening for Betty Ford.

    Re: the FS medals, Whitman is the only album publisher that has a album for the medal series. The bright red copper coins contrasts nicely with the navy pages.

  41. John says

    Way off topic I know but need some help. Why does HA auction #1192 Lot #3851 1891-cc ms64 $5 have the exact same PCGS number as prev. lot #4532 also ms64 even though with high res they are clearly NOT the same. And, it seems #1192 was somehow re-labeled as this ms64 even though it is from HA #1181 lot #7251 graded ms63!! i.e. new (fake) label = 10+K swindle?!
    Any comments/research greatly appreciated.

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