On Thursday, December 1, 2011, the United States Mint placed the Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coins and bronze medal on sale. The proof version started at $1,029.00 and the uncirculated opened at $1,016.00, but the coins’ prices may fluctuate weekly depending on the prevailing cost of gold. Their denomination is $10.
A maximum mintage of 15,000 has been set by the US Mint for the Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coins, although it seems unlikely that orders will reach that limit. Last year’s offerings saw demand diminish to a range falling between 8,000 and 13,000. Great for potential values of the coins down the road, but not for the series in terms of its popularity with collectors.
Every First Spouse Gold Coin is composed of one-half ounce of 99.99 percent pure gold. The series, that started in 2007, honors the First Ladies of each deceased U.S. President in the same order the Presidents served. According to the coin act creating the series, at least four new First Spouse Gold Coins will be struck each year as collectible companion coins for the circulating Presidential $1 coins. As mentioned, the series is limited to deceased Presidents, and so it is estimated to last until 2016.
The Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coins are twenty first in the series even though her husband was the twentieth president. The difference is due to five ladies being honored in 2009, since John Tyler’s first wife died during his administration and he married his second wife before leaving office.
Earlier this year, the Eliza Johnson First Spouse Gold Coins were made available on May 5. Julia Grant First Spouse Coins followed on June 23, and Lucy Hayes First Spouse Coins launched on September 1.
Lucretia Garfield Information
Lucretia Rudolph married James Garfield in 1858. Garfield served in the Ohio Senate and then in the Union military before serving 18 years in the House of Representatives. In 1881, they entered the White House.
Lucretia, a well educated woman who enjoyed history and the arts, loved to read, write, and paint. She researched the history of the White House furnishings and planned to redecorate it, but unfortunately she fell ill in May of 1881 and moved to a seaside resort in New Jersey.
Then, on July 2, 1881, President Garfield was shot. Lucretia rushed back to Washington, DC and spent the following months caring for him. He died on September 19, 1881.
Afterwards, Lucretia returned to their home known as Lawnfield in Mentor, Ohio. She worked on various memorials for her husband and spent time preserving the records from her husband’s life. She died in 1918.
Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coin Designs
The obverse features Lucretia Garfield’s portrait and is surrounded by the inscriptions LUCRETIA GARFIELD, 20TH, 1881, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, 2011, and the ‘W’ mint mark.
The reverse side portrays Lucretia Garfield painting on a canvas with a brush and paint palette in hand. The inscriptions include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 OZ. and .9999 FINE GOLD.
Designers of the coin’s obverse were United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Associate Designer Barbara Fox and United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. The reverse was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.
Lucretia Garfield Bronze Medal
Also available is the Lucretia Garfield bronze medal for $7.95. It shares the same designs but is nearly double the size of the gold coins.
To order, visit http://www.usmint.gov/ or call the toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing and speech-impaired customers may order by calling TTY 1-888-321-MINT (6468).