Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coins

Today, December 1, 2011 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales of the Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coins. Both proof and uncirculated versions of the one half ounce 24 karat gold coins will be available.

The obverse of the coin features a portrait of Lucretia Garfield designed by Barbara Fox and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The inscriptions include her name, order of the Presidency, the year, “In God We Trust”, “Liberty”, the date, and mint mark. The reverse features an image of the First Lady painting on a canvas with a brush and palette in hand to represent her interest in art. Inscriptions include “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, “$10”, “1/2 oz.”, and “.9999 fine gold”. The reverse was designed and sculpted by Michael Gaudioso.

Pricing for the Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coins will be $1,029 for the proof version and $1,016 for the uncirculated version. These prices are based on an average price of gold within the $1,700 to $1,749.99 range. The price levels may be adjusted weekly based on changes in the price of gold.

The maximum mintage has been established at 15,000 across both proof and uncirculated offerings. No issues of the series have managed to sell the maximum mintage since 2007, when the bar was actually set higher at 40,000. Since then, all issues have remained available for approximately one year or a shorter time period due to early sell outs. The 2010-dated issues sold a low of 8,176 across both versions of the Jane Pierce coin to a high of 12,652 across both versions of the James Buchanan’s Liberty coin.

The Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Coin will mark the fourth and final release of the series for this year. Although it honors the spouse for the 20th Presidency, it will actually mark the 21st release for the series overall. Collectors who have been acquiring one example of each coin will now have 10.5 troy ounces of gold worth around $18,375 based on the precious metal content alone. Collectors who have been collecting both proof and uncirculated versions of each coin will have 21 troy ounces of gold worth $36,750 based on metal value. Since many issues of the series have historically low mintages and command premiums, the actual value of a collection is even higher.

The CFA and CCAC recently reviewed design candidates for next year’s First Spouse Gold Coins featuring Alice Paul, Frances Cleveland, Caroline Harrison, and Frances Cleveland (again). You can view all of the design candidates in this recent Coin Update article.

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  1. Hidalgo says

    The 2011 First Spouse bronze medals are available for sale today as well. I have been collecting them since the gold FS coins are way too expensive for me…..

  2. joe says

    “I think its pretty cool. I always thought the Borg Queen was a neat character.”

    This is a nice coin compared to the Eliza Johnson coin, which is the ugliest coin ever made by any mint anywhere.

    I do think the FS series is losing steam fast. It won’t be long before some of these gold spouse coins fail to break the 2K mintage mark. But hey, the politicians that write the laws mandating the production of these coins know numismatics better than anyone, right? Another symptom of the politicians in Washington bringing the country down.

  3. Leo S. says


    I have a question regarding the resale prices on APMEX regarding the older FS coins. It seems that some coins with lower mintages are selling for a lower price than coins with higher mintages. For example, The Polk Unc FS, with a mintage of 3501 is selling for $1467 whereas the Taylor FS, with a mintage of 3430 is selling for $1258. There are other example of this, but you get the point. Do you have any idea why this is happening?

  4. Outis says

    Enough with the jokes – have a little respect for a Presidential widow please. I think Garfield would have been one of the greatest Presidents had he survived the attack. His service under Rosecrans (and really throughout the war) showed him to be a very brave and loyal soldier.

    I can’t afford to buy more than a few Spouse coins the next few years, but I will be getting one of these to add to my collection. I’m hoping AU will come down a little before I purchase.

  5. Louis says

    Leo S.: APMEX’s prices on collectible coins are almost always too high. Right now, for ex, they want $1500 for an MS/PF-69 anniversary eagle set. On e-Bay you can get a 70 set for almost the same price. There are many other examples. I would use a different barometer for market value such a retailer with more competitive prices. However, APMEX is generally a good buy on bullion.

  6. Fosnock says

    Leo S.:

    I have noticed that APMEX also prices their coins by what they have in stock. Using your example they have 3 Taylor’s in stock but only one Polk. Like any store in order to move the merchandise they that is not selling they need to cut the price.

  7. Brad says

    Since it appears that the chances of a price drop next week are nil, I went ahead and ordered my 1 proof and 2 unc Lucretia Garfield coins yesterday. I try to make sure I buy in the first or second week of availability, before any returns have time to make their way back into the distribution chain.

  8. RichardS says

    You noted that ” Collectors who have been collecting both proof and uncirculated versions of each coin will have 21 troy ounces of gold worth $36,750 based on metal value”. Does anyone have a record of the prices charged by the Mint for each coin in the First Spouse series starting with the proof and uncirculated Martha Washington coins in 2007 in order to calculate the amount charged by the Mint for the 21 ounces compared to the current value of $36,750 that you noted?

  9. Michael says

    I was considering going back and calculating that, but I ran out of time.

    You could go back into the archives on this site, or refer to the pages on which lists the initial pricing on the pages for each coin.

    Even though the US Mint prices reflect a premium above metal value, I think the total original cost would still be less than current melt value. Total original cost would definitely be below current market value.

  10. Leo S. says

    To Richard S

    Go to First Spouse Gold Coin Prices and Guide and they have the orignial prices for the FS coins from Martha through Lincoln. The site stopped updating in the middle of this year, so nothing after Lincoln.

  11. pl.mark says

    I don’t collect this series, but for those who do, how about a box for all forty-two coins (a box directly from the mint)? The box exists as a mint prototype on their supplier’s website ( If you really want one, then maybe collectors can petition the mint to produce them in some quantity.

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