The United States Mint has established the maximum mintage levels for the 2015 First Spouse Gold Coins. A higher figure has been set for the Jacqueline Kennedy First Spouse Gold Coin in the expectation of higher demand.
Next year, the First Spouse Gold Coin Program will enter its ninth year of release. When the series launched in 2007, the first three releases reached quick sell outs at a mintage level of 40,000 coins each. The early enthusiasm for the series quickly fizzled and no subsequent releases have come close to meeting their maximum mintage, despite the level being ratcheted lower over the years.
From 2007 to 2009, a maximum mintage was established at 40,000 coins across proof and uncirculated versions. After each of the 2009 releases failed to sell even 10,000 pieces across both versions, the maximum was reduced in the following year. From 2010 to 2011, a maximum mintage of 15,000 was established, with the exception of the Mary Todd Lincoln release which was set at 20,000. For 2012, the maximum was reduced to 13,000. In 2013, the level was reduced further to 10,000 pieces per issue.
For the upcoming 2015 First Spouse Gold Coins, the maximum mintage will remain at the 10,000 level for the coins honoring Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, and Lady Bird Johnson. The coin honoring Jacqueline Kennedy will have a higher maximum mintage of 30,000 pieces. These maximums apply across both proof and uncirculated versions with the split to be determined based on customer demand.
While a higher mintage level for the Jacqueline Kennedy coin may have been expected due to her popularity as First Lady, the US Mint also cited the possible impact from the release of this year’s 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Proof Gold Coin. The Mint suggested that customers seeking to make special Kennedy gold sets using both of these coins may drive a sharp increase in demand. By setting a higher maximum mintage, the Mint would have the flexibility to increase production if demand exceeds the levels of the other three coins.
In announcing the maximum mintages, the US Mint stressed that they are not obligated to mint and will not mint to the maximum levels unless supported by customer demand.
At this point, final designs for the 2015 coins have not yet been selected. The design candidates for the coins can be viewed here.
As it stands, the lowest mintage for a sold out issue of the First Spouse Gold Coin Program is held by the uncirculated 2011 Lucretia Garfield coin at 2,168 pieces. This is closely followed by the uncirculated 2011 Lucy Hayes coin at 2,196. It is possible that new lows may be set by the 2013 or 2014 issues, which still remain available for sale at the Mint.