Margaret Taylor First Spouse Gold Coins

Offered as the thirteenth in a series of commemoratives designed to honor former first ladies of the United States is the Margaret Taylor First Spouse Gold Coins from the United States Mint. These coins are struck from 1/2 ounce of 24 karat gold with a face value of $10 and are offered in collector proof and uncirculated condition.

Margaret Taylor First Spouse Gold Coins

Margaret Taylor First Spouse Gold Coins (Proof and Uncirculated) - Click to Enlarge

The US Mint launched the gold first lady coins on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 at noon ET. The initial proof selling price was $754 while the uncirculated option was issued at a price of $741. Numismatic gold coin prices are subject to change weekly based on the US Mint gold coin pricing policy, which links the market price of gold to the selling price for the precious metal coins. For always updated prices, see the First Spouse Coins Price Grid.

A combined maximum mintage of 40,000 is in effect for both versions of the coin, as outlined in the the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, the law that authorized the series.

The obverse of the coin features an image of Margaret Taylor designed by Phebe Hemphill and sculpted by Charles Vickers. The reverse showcases a younger Margaret attending to an injured soldier during the Seminole War. The reverse was designed by Mary Beth Zeitz and sculpted by Jim Licaretz.

Margaret Taylor Biography (1788-1852)

Margaret was born into a wealthy family in the year 1788. Her education prepared her for a life of easy living, but that is not the route she would take.

Margaret first met a young lieutenant Zachary Taylor in 1809, while she was visiting her sister in Kentucky. Taylor was home on leave and their romance would lead to a wedding the next year.

Zachary led the typical life of a career soldier in that he was constantly moving. Margaret, a devoted soldier’s wife would accompany him as much as possible to every base he was posted at. As Zachary moved up the ranks, Margaret gained the admiration of the soldiers for her own personality and abilities.

She was a known counselor to soldier’s wives as they awaited news of their husband’s condition after military conflicts. She was also known to attend to the injured soldiers as they would return from the battlefield.

Early in the 1840′s, the Taylors established a home and plantation near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Margaret had hoped Zachary would retire and they could live out their remaining years on the plantation. Fate would steer a different course.

First, Zachary would become a national hero for his military feats, especially during the Mexican-American War. With this new-found fame, Zachary would then be thrust into the political realm.

Surprising to many, including Margaret, Zachary was nominated to be president in 1848. Margaret is said to have prayed against his election and is attributed with saying:

His nomination is a plot to deprive me of his society and to shorten his life by unnecessary care and responsibility

Winning the Presidency, the Taylor’s moved to the White House. Reportedly, Margaret had vowed not to enjoy the social life years before in return for her husband returning safely from battle. Either this, or her weakened physical condition prevented her from performing the normal duties of a First Lady. She continued to run her personal household, but relegated all the ceremonial functions to her daughter, Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Taylor.

Zachary would die only 18 months into his term. Afflicted with grief, Margaret’s health continued to deteriorate, and she passed away two years later.

Additional Resources