Jefferson’s Liberty First Spouse Gold Coins
Jefferson’s Liberty First Spouse Gold Coins were the 3rd set of coins to honor American "First Ladies" with one-half ounce $10 coins struck in 24-karat gold and minted in proof and uncirculated versions.
On the day of their release, August 30, 2007, the United States Mint issue price for the proof version was $429.95. The uncirculated sold for $410.95.
Like the two releases before, Jefferson’s Liberty First Spouse Gold Coins sold out within hours of their release. That, despite a rather large mintage of 40,000 across both options and a one coin per household limit. The coins are currently resold for substantially more. (See Jefferson’s Liberty Gold Coins on eBay.)
Recognizing the fact that no "true" first lady existed in Jefferson’s Presidency (his wife Martha died years before), and in accordance with the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 that authorizes the First Spouse Coins, the obverse or heads side of the coins contain an image of Liberty.
This Liberty is based on the Draped Bust Half-Cent executed by Robert Scot and minted 1800-1808, during Jefferson’s Presidency (it was re-sculpted by Phebe Hemphill).
"This beautiful coin captures a classic image of Liberty from Jefferson’s time, connecting us to the history of our coinage and our Nation’s most precious value," said United States Mint Director Ed Moy.
The reverse, or tails side, contains an image designed and sculpted by Charles Vickers of Thomas Jefferson’s monument, located at Monticello. It also contains the epitaph which he wrote before his death:
"Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the declaration of American independence, of the statute of Virginia for religious freedom and father of the University of Virginia. Born April 2, 1743, O.S. Died July 4, 1826."
(See large Jefferson’s Liberty First Spouse Coin images.)
Thomas Jefferson was a widower of 18 years when he became the third President of the United States. He married his first and only wife, Martha Wayles Skelton, in 1772. Martha was a widow, after her first husband died less than 2 years into their marriage.
The Jefferson’s’ nuptial did result in 5 daughters and one son, but with only two daughters surviving into adulthood. It is assumed that Martha suffered from diabetes which would account for her continued poor health and problematic pregnancies. She passed away in 1782, shortly after the birth of their last child.
While in office, Thomas Jefferson relied on Dolley Madison to fulfill the duties of hostess when official functions required it. She was the wife of Secretary of State James Madison. A few occasions found Jefferson’s daughter (also named Martha but known as Patsy) in Washington D.C., and during these times, she would accompany her father to state ceremonies.
- Jefferson’s Liberty First Spouse Coin images
- Jefferson’s Liberty First Spouse Medal images
- Jefferson’s Liberty First Spouse Coin Designs
- US Mint press announcement
- US Mint First Spouse Program
- White House Biography of Martha Jefferson
- First Spouse Gold Coin Price Guide
- Jefferson Spouse Gold Coin Race