Caroline Harrison First Spouse Gold Coins
Caroline Harrison First Spouse Gold Coins mark the third of four issues released by the United States Mint in 2012 as part of the First Spouse Gold Coins Program. Designs on both the obverse and reverse are emblematic of Caroline Harrison, wife of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States.
This entire series of gold coins is dedicated to the spouses of former U.S. Presidents. The program debuted in 2007 and honors a First Lady at a rate of four Presidents per year. Note the release rate is tied to the Presidents themselves as some served in office without a spouse and some were married more than once through their years in office.
These situations were covered in the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-145) which authorized the series. In the event of a President having more than one spouse while in office, both are honored on separate coins. Examples of this include the Letitia Tyler First Spouse Gold Coins and the Julia Tyler First Spouse Gold Coins — both linked to the term of President John Tyler.
For most instances of when a President served without a spouse, the image of Liberty is featured instead. An example of this is Thomas Jefferson’s Liberty issued in 2007. The only exception provided by the authorizing legislation is for the Presidency of Chester Arthur. For First Spouse Gold Coins issued in association with his administration, designs honor Alice Paul who was a famous early 20th century American Suffragist born during the tenure of Arthur.
Caroline Harrison First Spouse Gold Coins Designs
Shown on the obverse of Caroline Harrison First Spouse Gold Coins is a portrait of the former First Lady. It was designed by AIP Associate Designer Frank Morris and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso. Obverse inscriptions include CAROLINE HARRISON, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, 2012 and 23rd 1889-1892.
The reverse depicts a design emblematic of the life of Caroline. It shows a close-up of an orchid and paint brushes reminiscent of Caroline’s love of flowers. It was designed by AIP Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles L. Vickers and also includes the inscriptions of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 oz. and .9999 FINE GOLD.
All First Spouse Gold Coins are composed from one-half ounce of .9999 fine gold to both proof and uncirculated qualities.
Caroline Harrison Biography Biography (1832-1992)
Caroline Harrison was born Caroline Scott in Oxford, Ohio on October 1, 1832 to Reverend Dr. John Witherspoon Scott and Mary Potts Neal. Despite being relatively poor, Caroline was well-educated throughout her childhood.
After moving to College Hill, near Cincinnati, Caroline met her future husband, Benjamin Harrison. The two would court for almost ten years before becoming married in 1853.
After Benjamin’s election as President, Caroline went about the task of renovating the White House. She had new floors laid, installed new plumbing and even had electricity installed. In 1889, she put of the first Christmas tree at the White House.
By late 1892, Caroline’s health began to fail and she died on October 25, 1892.