Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coins

Tomorrow, September 1, 2011 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales of the 2011 Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coins. These one half ounce 24 karat gold coins feature the spouse of the 19th President.

The obverse of the coin features a portrait designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Don Everhart. The required inscriptions “Lucy Hayes”, “In God We Trust”, “Liberty”, the order of the presidency, years of the term, date and mint mark surround. On the reverse is a scene of the First Lady cheering on two children participating in the first Easter Egg Roll held at the White House. This was designed by Barbara Fox and sculpted by Joseph Menna. The inscriptions include “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, the legal tender value, weight, and purity of the gold content.

Both proof and uncirculated versions of the coin will be available. The maximum mintage has been set at 15,000, across both options. Pricing will be $1,041 for the uncirculated coins and $1,054 for the proof coins. Under the US Mint’s numismatic gold coin pricing policy, this will be subject to potential weekly change based on the average market price of gold. There are no household ordering limits imposed.

This will be the twentieth release for the First Spouse Gold Coin Program. Provided the series is allowed to continue until the conclusion envisioned under the original legislation, we are now around the half way point.

Much has changed since the first two coins were released in June 2007. Back then, the maximum mintage was set at 40,000 and a rapid sell out was achieved. The prices for the coins were $410.95 for the uncirculated version and $429.95 for the proof.

Now, the mintage level is cut to a little more than a third, and no recent issues have sold the maximum. Early enthusiasm has given way to a seemingly dedicated following, supporting a low but steady level of sales. Issue prices are more than two and a half times the original level, following the continuing rise in the market price of gold.

Other News

The US Mint has now listed a release date of September 22, 2011 for the Gettysburg National Military Park Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin. The previous release featuring Mount Hood went on sale July 28, and has been experiencing slower sales than the first four issues. Further details of the Gettysburg coin will be posted as they become available.

The price of the 2011 Proof Platinum Eagle was adjusted lower today. Based on an average market price of platinum in the $1,750 to $1,849.99 range, the coins are now listed at $2,092. This is a reduction of $100 from the price previously in place. The US Mint has now sold 9,395 out of the 15,000 maximum mintage.


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Comments

  1. SmallPotatos says

    I am guessing that Gettysburg release may sell slightly higer than Mt Hood, due to the historical significance of that hallowed ground. If i ultimately keep any AtB 5oz P, it will be this one.

  2. In the Middle says

    The Gettysburg is truly a beautiful coin. I bought a couple of the bullion versions and look forward to the P. On a side note I got my 2nd GC 5 oz. today. Junk! It had to be a reject from someone. First off it was Reverse up and the capsule was barely on. I’d say that the mint can have this one back.

  3. says

    I must reiterate my surprise that the Lucy and Rutherford B. Hayes coins made it to sale given all the hullabaloo about cancelling the $1 coin program earlier. Those bills don’t seem to be going anywhere despite the large number of them… have they just sort of died?

    The 2011 AtB-Ps have a number of things going against them. In no particular order, they are:

    1. Flood of numismatic products. The Mint has produced so many this year that collector budgets have got to be seriously strained by now.
    2. Price volatility. The wild swings in gold have sent people stampeding into the First Spouses, the Medal of Honors, and other numismatic gold products, further suctioning away dollars which might have otherwise gone towards AtBs.
    3. Anniversary set. This will kill sales for Gettysburg (low budget collectors will hold their fire for this set rather than the AtB) and probably also Glacier if they’re dumb enough to release it in October or early November.
    4. 2011 bullion. Unlike the 2010 bullion coins, which were poorly released and were unobtainable for many, the 2011 bullion coins are very widely available. In fact, most coin dealers can’t sell them! There were probably a contingent of buyers for the 2010 AtB-Ps who couldn’t get the 2010 bullion. The wide availability of 2011 bullion will probably cause these folks to leave, especially if they’re concerned about price (bullion is also cheaper).
    5. Already low interest – as has been stated on this blog many times before both by the owner and commenters, Mount Hood sales are pretty bad. There is a real chance this coin might never sell out.

    Based on this I am predicting sales for Gettysburg to be very low, under 10K initially. If there is a price increase, we could see sales even lower, maybe under 7500. The ONLY thing Gettysburg has going for it is that it’s a big Civil War historical site. Glacier sales could be even lower – under 5,000 anyone? The only thing I can see which might ignite some temporary interest is a formal announcement of very low mintages.

    I wish I understood the Mint’s thinking on the P series. I am just not going to be able to afford it and I think by the end of the 2011-P run, it’s going to be in the “First Spouse basement” in terms of sale numbers.

  4. fosnock says

    The way the mint is acting you know the mintage is higher for the 2011s. If they were lower they would have announced it by now. The 2012 mintage will be interesting if they even have them outside of bullion. I suspect that they will eventual sellout out only because they will not raise the price and you will be able to get them close to spot…it beats melting them down.

  5. Ikaika says

    Can anyone guess whether the Mint will stop selling the Eliza Johnson First Spouse tomorrow?

  6. VABEACHBUM says

    Since Eliza was the first release for 2011, she “should” remain on sale either until she reaches an early sell-out or until March of 2012 (one year)… or until the Mint randomly decides that they no longer want to sell her coins. The Mint simply has not demonstrated a whole lot of consistency where this is concerned.

  7. joe says

    Projections for Gold Spouse Coins:

    1) I expect the gold Eliza Johnson uncirculated coin to sellout at < 2500 mintage. Johnson's coin is the ugliest first spouse (or any coin in general) produced by the Mint.
    2) Grant's unc coin may be < 3000 mintage due to Grant being more popular.
    3) I would expect Hayes to test new lows (both proof and unc) for a spouse due Hayes being more unknown and gold prices being high out of the gate.
    4) If gold goes over $2K/ounce this year, then the final 2011 spouse (Garfield) mintage will drop through the floor.

  8. SunTzu says

    That’s why if people bought graded specimens for Julia Tyler as investments, they may regret it. I see no reason why future first spouses won’t sell less than Julia Tyler. I know people like the design and all, but these first spouses as investments are risky cause you never know what the next ones brings unless you collect because you have the money and enjoy the series. That’s why I will continue on as long as I can with the ATB-P’s, keeping them raw. I like them.

  9. limalo says

    While we’re making predictions, I predict that the Mt. Hood AtB-P will have the household limit of one removed on or about September 9, and, certainly, no later than September 13. With still less than 20,000 sold, I can’t see the Mint maintaining a household limit of one for much longer. To me, it doesn’t make much sense to maintain a household limit when they are not moving. Just my opinion.

    LL

  10. joe says

    CaptainOverkill,

    The higher gold prices go, the sooner your wait will be over. I can see a few spouse coin mintages < 2000, but there are at least 1000 collectors out there that will purchase any given coin. I am one that does not believe gold is in a bubble (actually, the dollar is), and fully expect gold to go higher since the Fed and the politicians are pursuing a destructive monetary policy (don't want to cut spending, want the interest rates at zero, and will likely continue QE – printing money).

    Ironically, it may not be a question of a particular coin's mintage, but the number that get melted down after the fact due to high inflation. And that number will be difficult to measure other than evaluating a coin's general availability (auctions houses, eBay, etc.). SilverTowne allegedly melted down thousands of FS and commemorative gold coins a few years ago. Although it pains me to think about as a collector, we could be in for more melting of gold coins across the board.

  11. simon says

    The melting pot may get stoked to high heat and sink recent collector coins if gold pushes on to 3K. I may be naive but this situation with the weak dollar may be beneficial in the long term as a stimulus for job creation since our products will be competitive worldwide, and will initiate startups and new industry. It also puts the managers of the Chinese economy on notice that their artificial pegging of the renminbi / yuan to the dollar can have a potential downside.

  12. John says

    Sept. 11 Medals should start shipping tomorrow. Any guess why the “P” is selling at a slower pace to the “W”? I decided to buy one of each since I knew that the price would increase & shipping would be “free” because I added it to another purchase.

    Also since somebody posted receiving another poor quality CG, I will add that I received my NGC SP69 G.C. today. Previously I had returned one, received one that was slightly better, then order two more once the Mint limit was lifted only to cancel them to buy a certified one. I’m finally satisfied. I would like to buy a Mt. Hood but after seeing the slow sales I’m opting out, maybe I’ll go back and buy a DMPL Bullion version.

    Last, I was lucky enough to flip a few sets of the 2010 Bullion ATBs, they were graded by PCGS. Although the PCGS holders are skinnier they really didn’t show the coin good and you couldn’t read the edge lettering, I like the NGC holder much better for the ATBs.

  13. Bill says

    Congress should stop the production of the heavy one dollar coins…

    Doesn’t make a lot of sense to make a coin that nobody seems to want. My wife said they are too heavy to be practical for public use. Can’t see why the mint won’t eliminate the nickel and the penny and just redesign the dollar coin to the size of a nickel. If the mint made a new dollar coin out of copper I’m sure the mint would then have a winner.

    Oh, by the way, I do live in the copper state which is Arizona, but that has only a little bearing on this suggestion.

  14. ClevelandRocks says

    I agree, the new NGC are superior to the PCGS now, especially for displaying the 5ozers. My favorite FS coin is the JT proof. Nicest coin to look at obverse and reverse. Mintages are only part of the equation. Eliza and Lucy (and others) may have super low sales, but I don’t want to look at them.

  15. joe says

    If you think Eliza and Lucy are bad, wait until they put Alice Paul on the back of C.A. Arthur’s coin. At least Eliza and Lucy were actual wives of presidents. The libs in congress just had put a feminazi on a coin. I would have much rather had another liberty coin.

  16. limalo says

    Did anyone notice that as of 7:45 p.m EDT tonight, the AtB-P Grand Canyon is no longer available on the Mint’s website? Someone finally got the message that they have gone beyond the 27K limit on GC. The Mt Hood is the only AtB-P currently showing. It can’t be long now before the one per household limit is removed for the Mt. Hood.

    LL

  17. Louis says

    Bill,
    You can tell your wife (and try it out if you don’t believe me) that the dollar coins and quarters are about the same size and weight. No one complains about carrying quarters, and the dollars are a different color to help one avoid getting confused, so what’s the problem? The problem is people’s attitude and the poor distribution of the coins. If they were distributed as they should be, and one got them in change all the time, people might stop hoarding them because they think they are valuable. I included one in a tip once to a pizza delivery person who thought I was giving him something really special.

  18. Rick says

    my guess as to why the sept 11 medals with “w” is because the west point mint is located in the same state as the twin towers.

  19. In the Middle says

    “my guess as to why the sept 11 medals with “w” is because the west point mint is located in the same state as the twin towers.”

    The Philadelphia mint is located in the same state as Shanksville, where Flight 93 went down.

  20. says

    Louis,

    Agree with everything you say, though I’ll add that I don’t think people are hoarding what they have so much as they are not getting them at all. The key for the coin to succeed is to get businesses to agree to distribute them as change. If the government persuaded, say, offered some sort of small incentive to big retailers to get them to distribute the coins (or just got rid of the $1 dollar bill) I think you’d see much wider circulation.

  21. Brad says

    I really do wish the dollar coin program would succeed. I do my part by spending the coins at all of the places where I use cash. Now though, I don’t buy the dollar coins through the direct ship program anymore ever since the option to use a credit card was taken away. I won’t pay for a wire transfer (my bank charges $25 for that) and I don’t want to fool with a check in the mail. So, the only ones I get to spend now are from rolls I can find at banks.

    I am one of the faithful collectors of the First Spouse series, and I really want to be able to see it through to the end. I’m thinking I might just go ahead and order my Lucy Hayes coins today, since as of late you can’t depend on the coins to remain available an entire week between price change possibilities. It’s not looking too promising for a price decrease to happen anytime soon, and I know if I wait too long before ordering I run the risk of receiving someone’s reject coins from the first wave of shipments.

  22. Bill says

    My experience with the dollar coin and my local banks…

    When the dollar coin first came out I went to several local banks and asked if they had any of the new dollar coins. Three Banks said no. The biggest bank in town (B of A) had about 15 coins, mostly Washington. I asked the bank teller if they were popular and she said, “Nobody wants them. Everyone with them was in fact trying to get rid of them.”

    Then I went to a food market.

    I noticed that the cash registers didn’t have extra room to accommodate a new coin. That was because the extra coin bin was already being used to hold unopened rolls of coins… when I paid for food with a few dollar coins the clerk just glared at me.

    These experiences suggest to me that a full review of U.S. coins may be needed to make commerce more efficient.

  23. simon says

    I really have no problem with the dollar coins. I keep a few in the glove compartment of my car as an emergency stash. I have spent them on danish and coffee, parking meters, gas, stamps at the post office, tipping a freeway-exit bum, plants at the horticulturist, girl scout cookies, etc. Best if all I collect them. I picked up a roll of the Hayes and the quality of the strikes was outstanding – potentially MS68 and one PL. So here are some ideas . . .

  24. Ben says

    It appears that the Mint has removed the ordering limit for the Mt Hood ATB coin. Hopefully they’ll raise the limits on future issues, as it’s obvious that interest is already waning.

    Did anybody order the Lucy Hayes FS coin? I’m waiting for a price drop myself.

  25. says

    I am part of a group of six people that I orders coins together, especially US Mint products. While I haven’t made any First Spouse purchases, some of them did. People in my group grabbed Eliza Johnson and Julia Grant partly because they expected the First Spouse program to end and partly because of the mad dash to acquire gold – the First Spouses were actually fairly reasonably priced when they bought them, with premiums only slightly higher than bullion half ounce.

    They have discussed picking up Lucy Hayes, but due to a combination of much higher prices and the uncertainty over when, exactly, the $1 coin/First Spouse program will end (or even if it will end), they have declined to pick up Hayes. They’re also taking a breather on coin purchases because of the huge flood of products earlier in the year, and they want to save some cash for the ASE anniversary set.

    They’re still debating on whether to pick up the Gettysburg AtB or not. Opinions are leaning towards “no” at the moment.

    We did pick up some of those 2 oz Silver Dragons the Perth Mint launched though. I can’t believe how fast they sold out.

  26. Louis says

    Gold is up today. I think a price increase soon is more likely than a decrease.

    Interesting comments from everyone on the dollar coins.

  27. Louis says

    My 9/11 medal shipped today! I wonder what they are going to do with all those unsold medals. Why not advertise on television esp. now?

  28. limalo says

    To Ben at 12:49 p.m., I’m not sure where you are getting your information but the Mint’s website still says for the Mt Hood AtB-P, “A limit of one (1) coin per household is in effect for the first week of this product’s release. At the end of this period, the United States Mint will re-evaluate this limit and either extend, adjust or remove it.”

    I still expect the limit to be removed before long but it has not been removed yet according to the website and the customer service reps at the 800 number.

    The customer service reps are also reporting the 25th Anniversary Set for the ASE to be available at the end of October, which I think has already been stated.

    LL

  29. Brian says

    The issue price for Lucy is based on the $1750-1799 tier, so if the price of gold holds at current levels, the price will go up next week.

  30. Brad says

    Gold shot up to nearly $1,860 overnight. Now that the spot price is two tiers above the Mint’s price level, any Lucy Hayes fence-sitters might want to go ahead and buy this morning, in case the Mint suspends gold coin sales again!

  31. MarkInFla says

    Gold is on its way up because the bad employment numbers mean that QE3 is coming. US Government will start buying its own bonds with freshly-printed money to keep interest rates low.

  32. Jeremy says

    Gold isn’t up based on unemployment numbers. Gold is up due to the option for the ECB to collateralize PIGS nation’s gold. This gold is now unlikely to be sold and therefore will ensure it does not reach the open market making for less potentially available supply

  33. Louis says

    Just opened my 9/11 medal. Much nicer than you would think from the pics. But I am still trying to figure out how one “honors hope.”

  34. MarkInFla says

    How to “honor hope”? By re-electing Obama of course!
    I however prefer to honor individualism and the free market by buying other Mint products. Like the 2011 ATB hockey pucks, The only coins I can read without glasses!

  35. Louis says

    Darn, they pulled them already before I pulled the trigger. See the Mint site. All gone again………..

  36. limalo says

    Gold Eagles, First Spouses, etc. were pulled but the gold commemoratives are still available for now. The silver products are also still available.

    LL

  37. Rick says

    Well, bankrupt again. I made the decision to buy gold before the site went into melt down. For some reason the commemorative gold has not been suspended.

  38. Brad says

    I hope you all took my advice and bought Lucy Hayes this morning before the plug was pulled. Man, only one day of sales and now it appears that they will be suspended until next Wednesday when they will cost at least $50 more per coin. I’m glad I went ahead and ordered yesterday. At least it saved me $150 for my one proof and two uncs for the sets I’m building!

  39. Faye says

    @ Brad, I sure did, as soon as I read your message this morning I went straight to the mint and got my order in for my proof Lucy Hayes, thanks so much for the info. That’s why I love this page, Michael and all you guys have so much useful info.

  40. Louis says

    Silver sets will be suspended any minute according to the Mint. If you move fast, you can still order, but I don’t know if they will cancel the order.

  41. ClevelandRocks says

    All gold products suspended. ’10 silver sets suspended again. ’11 silver sets available. Please Mint, end the ’10s..

  42. MarkInFla says

    I was gonna buy some PM from the Mint this weekend, but I’ll have to shop on Ebay instead. Probably closer to melt anyway.

  43. phil says

    It is interesting that, as the price of gold has risen, earlier (cheaper) coins in this set sold for spot value. But now all those earlier coins would be worth the same as a current issue’s melt value. I picked up the bulk of my complete proof set in 2009-10.

    But now the higher price of the current coins will make it difficult for the price of any individual coin to fall when the price of gold goes down. The price paid will define each coin’s value to a complete set, in other words, when the price of gold eventually falls.

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