Julia Grant First Spouse Gold Coins

Later today, June 23, 2011 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales of the 2011 Julia Grant First Spouse Gold Coins. This will continue the one-half ounce 24 karat gold coin series featuring the spouses of the former Presidents.

The obverse design features a portrait of Julia Grant designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Michael Gaudioso. The inscriptions include her name, the order of the Presidency “18th”, years of the term “1869-1877”, the mottoes “In God We Trust”, “Liberty”, the date, and mint mark.

On the reverse of the coin is a scene of young Julia Dent and her future husband Ulysses S. Grant. The two are pictured during their courtship, riding horseback on her family’s plantation, White Haven. The inscriptions include “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, the legal tender face value, and the weight and fineness of the gold content. The reverse was designed by Richard Masters and sculpted by Charles L. Vickers.

The maximum mintage level has been established at 15,000 coins, across the available proof and uncirculated versions. This is the same level that was in place for the previous release, as well as three out of the four releases for 2010. There are no household ordering limits imposed.

Initial pricing for the coins will be $929 for the proof version and $916 for the uncirculated version. This is based on an average gold price within the $1,500 to $1,549.99 range and may be adjusted throughout the course of sales as the average gold price moves into different pricing tiers. The previous Eliza Johnson gold coins had the same initial pricing, had a one week decrease, and then moved back to the original pricing.

The period of availability for each release of the First Spouse Gold Coin program has been somewhat erratic throughout the series. It seems that whenever a familiar pattern has settled in, the events or circumstances align to change it.

Back in 2007, the first three issues all managed to sell out of their maximum mintage of 40,000 on the first day of availability. The United States Mint responded by lowering ordering limits to one per household, which would remain in place for the next several releases, even after sales had cooled.

The following issues of the series remained available for approximately one year from the initial release date. The US Mint would end sales sales of one particular issue to coincide with the release of the coin one year ahead in the schedule. The only aberration to this pattern was when the US Mint ended sales of both the Letitia and Julia Tyler coins together to adjust for the extra coin issued for that year.

The next change in the pattern of availability came with the 2010-dated releases. Each issue carried a maximum mintage of 15,000 and there was no reason to believe sales would proceed any differently than in the past. In early 2011, the proof version of the James Buchanan’s Liberty coin unexpectedly sold out with sales well under the maximum mintage. It turned out that the US Mint had struck fewer than the maximum mintage based on demand forecasts, and no further coins could be produced since it was already 2011. Similar sell outs occurred for the other 2011 issues, and now the only one that remains available is the proof version of the Mary Todd Lincoln coin.

The shifts in availability have contributed to some attractively low mintages throughout the series. It’s probably safe to assume that new Julia Grant First Spouse Gold Coins will be available from the US Mint throughout 2011, but after that I suppose anything could happen.

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  1. Anonymous says

    I was planning on going ahead and buying my 1 proof and 2 uncirculated Julia Grant coins today, since it seemed yesterday that gold was firmly in the current pricing tier, and might be flirting with an increase next week. However, I just saw on Kitco that gold has taken a serious hit this morning. Now I find myself wanting to wait a week or two to see if maybe I can save myself $75.

    Decisions, decisions.

  2. Anonymous says

    I noticed the 2011 Platinum Proof dropped in price by $100 to $1992…didn't hear much about that.

  3. Anonymous says

    You're right, it did go down. I hadn't noticed that, since I wasn't tracking the price of platinum. That's because I have no interest in buying the proof coin. It is advantageous for those sitting on the fence, though.

    I don't know at this point if the price drop will help the coin much, though. The prospects for it don't really look too good right now.

  4. Anonymous says

    It seems to be quiet a reverse of April. The commodity price may be facing steep decline. What to do with buying all the overpriced Mint coins? delay delay delay delay……

  5. Anonymous says

    I am waiting for the price of gold to go below 1500 and the Mint adjusts its gold offerings before I buy this FS and an AGE. It's down almost $30 right now.

  6. Anonymous says

    The FED is in disarray, the democrats want to continue spending like there is no problem, economic activity in third world countries like India and China are passing the USA up, the treasury secretary is stating we need more tax increases (i.e., less economic activity from the private sector), and we are currently fighting multiple wars. These are the facts.

    The price of gold drops $30 and everyone thinks it's going to $1000. I have to ask what is going to drive gold lower (other than overt manipulation)? I wish it was true…I really do…and not just from a coin purchasing standpoint (I am thinking of this country's future). Out leaders (and I use that word tongue and check) have lost control and we are in uncharted territory. Only fiscal sanity (and someone forgiving our debt) will drive gold down. Someone please let me know when that happens.

  7. Anonymous says

    This could be the defining moment of the worst conditions. As we said during the worst Clinton moment- it is going worse before it gets worse. There are two choice- the economy gets better from here, or you have 2012 election. Either way, it could only go up when you hit the bottom. The question we always wonder is where is the bottom?

  8. Anonymous says

    Doomsters believe in doom, hipsters believe in hype, traders believe in ratios and rates, and finally collectors believe in coins! Please take your pick! – SFS

  9. Anonymous says

    Wow, I wonder what drove up sales so fast these past few days? Based on the reported sales through June 19, I didn't see Yosemite selling out until another month or so.

  10. Anonymous says

    Manipulation at it's finest – expect much more to the downside. It's only temporary…

  11. Anonymous says

    The liberal news media has been telling us we're in a recovery since the current administration was immaculated. Unfortunately for them, their credibility has be shot for a long, long time.

    The only time that this country was in this bad of a condition (economically speaking) was during the revolutionary war. Paper money was almost worthless then, and it seems we are heading that way with the FED's printing presses running 24/7. Then it was the Great Britain…today it's apathy with our selected leaders and politics in general. Then, PMs were always accepted to purchase goods. I believe they again will be accepted to purchase goods (certainly over worthless script).

    One can't only listen to the media, politicians, or even forums like this. You have to do the research yourself and see if things are as bad (or good) as we are being told. If you think it's bad, then PMs are a good way to go. If you think it's good, then go buy more GM stock. I find it hilarious that many "ostriches" believe they are intellectual by saying "you can't eat your gold." Apparently the same people do believe it is possible to eat tons of worthless paper money or stock certificates.

    The beauty of this hobby is that it is both fun AND useful when the economy tanks. When the economy actually recovers it may only be fun, but I can live with that.

  12. Anonymous says

    Buy one in the first week or get one with a blemish. They seem to send out "returns" if you do not get the first batch.

  13. Anonymous says

    with a relatively short history of America in contrast to a much longer memory in Europe, Asia and Africa, most people here still believes US dolar can last forever. The total amount of money going for Mint's gold and silver bullion was less than $2B during the first half of the year. Last week the outflow from equity mutual funds was $7.3B. Inflow to the bond funds was $2.4B.

  14. Anonymous says

    You don't have to buy your coins in the first week to avoid the "returns" coming your way. The first wave hasn't had time to make the rounds and affect any orders placed in the second or third week I wouldn't think.

    After that though, you just might receive a coin that has already been sent out once and rejected by someone else.

    I'll keep an eye on the price of gold, and if it appears that a price decrease is unlikely the week after next, I'll go ahead and order. I saved myself $75 by waiting until the second week for Eliza Johnson, so that was good.

  15. Anonymous says

    These coins won't be shipping for three weeks per the mint website. No hurry to buy now.

  16. Anonymous says

    Can,t keep up with bullion demand, but the mint has no problem selling 100 at at time with no mintage limit. pure greed. Could be in the millions. no thanks on this one.

  17. Anonymous says

    I had to return MT Lincoln and Eliza twice each. postage cancels out any savings on gold price.

  18. Anonymous says

    The mint should have a no return policy on all bullion products. It would solve allot of problems. I dont understand how they can get a damaged product returned and ship it out to another person. ethics check is in order here.

  19. Anonymous says

    Well, in the Mint's defense some coins that are returned have such minor "imperfections" on them that most people wouldn't even care about it. Some buyers are so extremely particular because they are hoping for that "perfect" coin to get slabbed as a "First Strike MS or PF70". Then, after they feel the Mint has finally sent them a coin that looks perfect, they send it in to be graded and it comes back a 69 that will then sell for less than an identical raw coin.

    I feel sorry for the Mint when it comes to dealing with returns. I'll bet that 75% or more of the returned coins have no serious imperfections after all. Sure, one could argue that ALL of the coins should be "perfect", but that is never going to happen, unfortunately.

  20. Anonymous says

    How can any of you say for sure your returned coin went to someone else? You have no idea what you are talking about. And stop with the GD politics! I don't care what you think of Obama, the liberal media, or anything else! Go to a political blog and rant away! This is about coins!
    Also, how come no one has mentioned what a nice design the Grant coin is?

  21. Anonymous says

    I once returned a silver quarter proof set a few years ago because a couple of the coins had bad scratches on them. I asked for an exchange. They sent me the same set back with the same scratches on the same areas. So, either they sent me another set which happened to have the same exact scratches on the same coins or they returned the same set back to me. Go figure!

  22. Anonymous says

    Ok- good point. Anyone else have this sort of experience? I must be lucky because in 7-8 years and a lot of orders, I have only returned one order and that was due to financial hardship, not defects.

  23. Anonymous says

    Without a doubt the mint sends back out returned coins. I got a load of silver eagles on the last day available and they sent me scratched, dirty and figerprinted coins.

  24. Anonymous says

    For those who think coins and politics are completely separate, then please take a look at the 2009 "diversity" platinum eagle, the 2010 Boy Scout (with a girl) coin, and the 2012 "Alice Paul" gold FS coin just to name a few. Politicians determine what coins are minted by the US Mint and those same politician like to use it as a means of pushing their wacked-out agendas. Heck, even the entire gold FS series is a tip of the hat to the feminists. I would bet anything that if the presidents had been placed on the gold coins instead of the spouses, these coins would have much higher mintages. It's all politics…pure and simple. The fact that you believe that coins and politics are exclusive says a lot about your coin knowledge.

    That said, I completely agree with you regarding the Grant coin; it is much nicer design than the Johnson coin (which frankly makes me shutter).

  25. Anonymous says

    Hello, we already have a series of presidential coins! I never said politics and coins are not related. I said I don't really care what your political views are. The fact that you think having FS' on coins for the first time is part of some "feminist agenda" says a lot about your view of women. I won't say who i am, but I am a recognized expert on coins and on politics and have published hundreds of articles on both topics in the leading publications. I am also a liberal who used to write for a leading conservative newspaper, so don't question my knowledge or authority. How about we get back to the FS coins, which is the subject of this post, not the intersection of politics and coins?

  26. Anonymous says

    "For those who think coins and politics are completely separate, then please take a look at the 2009 "diversity" platinum eagle, the 2010 Boy Scout (with a girl) coin, and the 2012 "Alice Paul" gold FS coin just to name a few. Politicians determine what coins are minted by the US Mint and those same politician like to use it as a means of pushing their wacked-out agendas. Heck, even the entire gold FS series is a tip of the hat to the feminists. I would bet anything that if the presidents had been placed on the gold coins instead of the spouses, these coins would have much higher mintages. It's all politics…pure and simple."

    There's quite a few coins out there from our nation's history which depict a female on them.
    Liberty has made quite a few appearances. She's been featured on our coins since we started making coins. It's not a new concept. For most of the coins that have been produced, they have either featured Liberty, a dead president, or a Native American. Why not have a First Spouse coin series?

  27. Anonymous says

    Well, a lot of the comments here are about some very personal tastes of the very few. The public at large doesn't mind one bit what is on the plate. So the politicians are doing their jobs, the USMint is striking coins accordingly, and the public they represent are purchasing the coins. The USMint deserves the public's support and patronage for a job well done!

  28. Anonymous says

    Gold is going down, down down. Oh what a relief it will be to buy an unc FS below $900. – let's hope anyway…

  29. Anonymous says

    You're differentiating between perfect and slightly imperfect. How about the difference between perfect and downright embarrassing? Some of the mint products I have purchased, I would say in the past 9 months, have been really pathetic in quality. So a little more quality control by the mint would make a big difference in the amount of returns they receive. They raise their prices and the quality of their products detoriates, not a good combination.

  30. Anonymous says

    Given that he showed the Confederacy who their daddies were, Im shocked Ulysses ended up with such an ugly broad…..

  31. Anonymous says

    Aw, come on. She wasn't UGLY. And besides, true beauty is on the INSIDE, anyway. It's much better to be with a woman with a beautiful soul than one who is beautiful on the outside but not on the inside.

  32. John Abbott says

    @1:30 That's an interesting take. Surely the people who take the time to read rare coin and mint blogs are probably a little more particular than most, but do you think most returns are unwarranted?

  33. Anonymous says

    Man, its difficult to tell which is the ugliest First Spouse. Each time I pick one, here comes another that is uglier.

    To be in the fair side, Letitia and Julia Tyler are exceptions.

  34. Anonymous says

    "To be in the fair side, Letitia and Julia Tyler are exceptions."

    You'll notice that they are both Tyler's spouses. Sort of gives you a new found respect for President Tyler, doesn't it?

  35. Anonymous says

    "You'll notice that they are both Tyler's spouses. Sort of gives you a new found respect for President Tyler, doesn't it?"

    Sure does. He probably was the only president with good taste for women.

  36. shoebox911 says

    Sounds pretty sexist to me. I thought we males had moved beyond evaluating women based solely on their physical appearance.

  37. Anonymous says

    men will stop evaluating women by their appearance when women stop evaluating men by their money, fame, success and prestige.

    That's just the way it has always been for the most part – it's just human nature like it or not.

  38. Anonymous says

    If pretty girls are your main interest, perhaps you should try another hobby…….

    Besides to say Julia Grant is an "ugly broad" is imposing today's media-driven beauty standards on a woman who lived 150 years ago. Perhaps in her day she was considered a hot babe, I don't know.

    All this beauty stuff is a matter of personal tase.

    What I do know is the reverse is a hell of a lot better than the Eliza reverse.

  39. Anonymous says

    to be fair – most of their husbands aren't that good looking either but they had success and prestige which is what attracts women

  40. itm says

    Rare coins offer one last benefit that most other asset categories cannot match: collector value due to their artistic appeal and historical importance. This is important even for those rare gold coin owners who do not personally wish to become collectors simply because it is this collector value that attracts many buyers to take coins off the market to be held in collections with no intent to liquidate.

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