Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse Gold Coins
Honoring the wife of the sixteenth President of the United States is the Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse Gold Coins. The coin is the seventeenth in the First Spouse Gold Coin series and the last to appear in 2010.
The $10 face value Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse Gold Coins are struck from 1/2 ounce of 24-karat gold to collector proof and uncirculated qualities. Authorized by the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, a maximum of 20,000 will be minted across both finishes. This mintage is 5,000 more than prior 2010 issues as a higher demand for the gold coins is expected.
The Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse Gold Coins will be released by the United States Mint at Noon ET on December 2, 2010. While prices of the First Spouse Gold Coins can change weekly depending upon the prevailing price of gold, the Lincoln gold coin will debut with the proof at $854 and the uncirculated at $841.
Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse Gold Coin Designs
On the obverse or heads side of the First Spouse Gold Coin is a regal portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln. It was designed and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The reverse or tails side of the gold piece shows a caring Mary giving flowers and books to wounded Union soldiers during the Civil War. It was designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
Mary Todd Lincoln Biography (1818-1982)
Born in Kentucky to pioneer settlers, Mary Todd Lincoln lost her mother before she was seven. Her father did remarry, but the young girl still suffered from a feeling of loneliness despite being considered a part of the Lexington’s social class.
Mary did present an aura of dignity and intelligence to those that met her and received an excellent private education where she learned to speak French fluently and became educated in many other fields. At age 20, she moved to Springfield, Illinois to live with her sister Elizabeth Edwards. In Springfield, she was courted by several suitors, but seemed drawn to lawyer and politician Abraham Lincoln, who was ten years older.
A stormy three year courtship finally resulted in an engagement, and the two were married on November 4, 1842. For the next almost two decades, the couple continued to work hard on both Abe’s career as well as their family. Four sons were born to them, although Edward died at age 3.
When Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States, the family moved to Washington D.C. in 1861 during the turbulent start of the American Civil War. Mary’s service as First Lady of the country was sparked with controversy, owing mostly to the war. Born a southerner, many in the the South felt she was a traitor, while there were those in the north who considered her a spy. At first, she held elegant parties which were called too extravagant for the cash-strapped country, but after the death of their son William, Mary became more reserved and then was faulted for shirking her social duties.
By most accounts, Mary was a loving wife to Lincoln and with her excellent education, a valued advisor to her husband. She was also seen as a caring individual and would spend many hours visiting the wounded union soldiers located throughout the nation’s capitol.
In April 1865, with the successful close of the Civil War only a few days before, Mary had hoped for a return to happiness for the country, and for their family. However, while sitting next to Abraham during a play at Ford’s theater, she witnessed his being shot and his death the next morning. With the loss of her husband and two of her sons, Mary remained in mourning the rest of her life and always wore black.
Grief continued to consume her to the point that her son Robert was forced to have her committed to a psychiatric hospital. She was able to get herself released and spent several years abroad before returning to Springfield to once again live with her sister.
Suffering from ill health for a time, Mary Todd Lincoln passed away at age 63 in 1882 and was interred within the Lincoln Tomb along with her husband Abraham.
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