2010 James Buchanan’s Liberty First Spouse Coins Available

by admin on September 2, 2010

in First Spouse Medals,Release Dates,US Mint

The United States Mint today, September 2, 2010, at noon Eastern Time launched the 2010 Buchanan’s Liberty First Spouse Gold Coins.

James Buchanan's Liberty First Spouse Gold Coins

Buchanan's Liberty First Spouse Gold Proof and Uncirculated Coins

The coins are struck at the United States Mint at West Point, composed of 1/2 ounce 24 karat (.9999 fine) gold, and have a face value of $10. Both uncirculated and proof options are available, with initial prices of $766 for the uncirculated and $779 for the proof.

Although James Buchanan was the 15th President, serving from 1857 to 1861, his coins mark the 16th issue in a series that started in 2007. President John Tyler had two wives during his presidency, and each were honored in the series. Thus, there was one more First Spouse coin than there were Presidents.

As President Buchanan was never married, the mythical figure of Liberty was used in the design of of Buchanan’s First Spouse Gold Coins. In cases when Presidents served without a spouse, the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 mandated that the first lady series have an obverse design that was emblematic of the Liberty that was portrayed on coinage from that President’s era. The reverse design had to illustrate a theme of that President.

A total of four Presidents in history have not had a spouse while they served as President. They were Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan. Buchanan is actually the only U.S. President to never have been married.

Since Buchanan’s Liberty is the last Liberty in the series, it is possible that sales will be higher than previous First Spouse coins released earlier in the year. Collectors who were not previously interested in the series may want to collect the four-coin Liberty "short set".

The maximum mintage for Buchanan’s coins is 15,000. The ratio of proof coins to uncirculated coins will be determined by customers’ orders.

The Liberty figure on Buchanan’s coin is a reproduction of Christian Gobrecht’s Coronet design that was on the Liberty Head Quarter Eagle minted between 1840 and 1907. The design features a portrait of Liberty, facing left, wearing a coronet inscribed with the word LIBERTY. Her hair is pulled back in a bun and held in place by a string of pearls. Thirteen stars surround the design with the inscriptions 1857, 1861, 2010, IN GOD WE TRUST, and 15TH PRESIDENT.

The reverse shows a young Buchanan writing in a book at the family’s small country store. Inscriptions include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 oz. and .9999 FINE GOLD.  United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Associate Designer David Westwood designed the image, and it was sculpted by Joseph Menna, United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver.

The bronze medals, also being released on the same day, bear a likeness to the gold coin. They are available for $5.50 each.

Orders can be placed via United States Mint’s Web site, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or at the toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). An additional shipping and handling fee of $4.95 will be applied to all domestic orders.

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