Frances Cleveland First Spouse Gold Coins (First Term)
Issued as the second 2012 strike in the First Spouse Gold Coins series from the United States Mint is the Frances Cleveland First Spouse Gold Coin (First Term). This coin also marks the twenty-third to be issued in the series overall which debuted in 2007.
Frances Cleveland First Spouse Gold Coins are somewhat of an anomaly for the series. The design is the first of two to honor the same person. It will be followed later in the year by one honoring Frances’ second term as First Lady.
Her husband, Grover Cleveland, is the only individual to have ever served two non-consecutive terms as President of the United States. As such, provisions in the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-145), which authorized the series, dictates that Frances be honored on two separate coins — one for each non-consecutive term. (Individuals who served consecutive terms are only honored with one coin.)
First Spouse Gold Coins are struck from one half ounce of .9999 fine gold to proof and uncirculated qualities. Typically, the coins showcase a portrait of the spouse of the former President on the obverse and a scene emblematic of their life on the reverse.
The obverse portrait on the first term Frances Cleveland First Spouse Gold Coins was designed by AIP Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart. The reverse depicts the working women’s receptions that Frances held at the White House and was designed by AIP Associate Designer Barbara Fox and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.
Obverse inscriptions on the gold coins include FRANCES CLEVELAND, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, 2012 and 22nd 1886-1889. The 22nd is indicative of her husband’s first term as the 22nd President of the United States.
The reverse includes the inscriptions of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 oz. and .9999 FINE GOLD.
Frances Cleveland Biography Biography (1864-1947)
Frances Cleveland was born Frances Clara Folsom to Oscar and Emma Folsom on July 21, 1864. Her future husband, Grover Cleveland, met her while she was still an infant as he was a good friend of her fathers.
When Frances’ father died when she was just 11, Grover became administrator of his estate linking him even closer to young Frances. It was not until she was in college, however, that the two started to court.
They were married on June 2, 1886 in the White House as Grover had already been elected President. At the time, Frances was 21 years old and Grover was 49.
She immediately assumed the duties of White House hostess and held two receptions a week. Upon the defeat of her husband for re-election, Frances is believed to have told the staff to take care of the building as they would be returning in four years (which they did.)