2011 Lucy Hayes First Spouse Coins Launch

by admin on September 2, 2011

in Coin Prices,First Spouse Medals,Release Dates

On Thursday, September 1, 2011, the United States Mint released the Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coins and bronze medal. The face value of the two gold coins are the standard $10, but their price is beyond any debuting coins in the series.

2011 Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coins

2011 Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coins (Proof and Uncirculated)

When the coins launched, they were listed $1,054.00 for the proof strikes and $1,041.00 for the uncirculated strikes, which was the highest starting point since the program began in 2007. In fact when the first coins, celebrating Martha Washington, appeared on June 19, 2007, the proofs cost $429.95 and the uncirculated were $410.95. Of course back then, the price of gold on the London Fix that afternoon was only $656.30.

Fast forward to now and the US Mint is using a pricing policy that is based on the seven day average of the London Fix. When the Hayes coins debuted, the current average resided between $1,750.00 and $1,799.99 an ounce.

Unfortunately, gold prices skyrocketed on Thursday and Friday, leaving the US Mint almost no choice but to suspend sales of most of its gold products, including all of the First Spouse Coins. A move such as this will no doubt hurt the new coins’ opening numbers compared to initial sales of earlier designs in the series. For more details about the recent sales suspension, see the related article on CoinNews.net. The suspensions will likely be lifted on Wednesday, and higher prices for the coins are expected.

Each coin in the First Spouse Gold Coins series contains one-half ounce of 24-karat gold. As mentioned earlier, the series started in 2007 and honors the First Ladies of each U.S. President. At least four new First Spouse Gold Coins will be struck each year through 2016 in the order that the Presidents served.

Although the US Mint capped the total mintage of the Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coins at 15,000, it is unlikely the maximum will be sold. Demand for the coins has waned each passing year compared to the buying frenzy in 2007 when all 40,000 of the first few releases sold out. Recent sales, like those of 2010 released coins, ended between 8,000 and 13,000.

The Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coins are twentieth in the series and the third of four to appear in 2011. The other 2011 coins featured Eliza Johnson and Julia Grant. The coins for Lucretia Garfield are set for release on December 1, 2011.

Lucy Hayes Information

Lucy Ware Webb married Rutherford B. Hayes, the nineteenth President of the United States, in 1852. Rutherford served as an Ohio Congressman and then three terms as Governor of Ohio before winning the US Presidency in 1876 by one electoral  vote despite losing the popular vote.

Lucy enjoyed her years in the White House and was remembered as a popular hostess. She liked to throw informal parties and was adored for her beauty, intelligence, and culture. She was also a temperance advocate, so wine and liquor were not served at the mansion during the Hayes administration.

Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coin Designs

Lucy Hayes’ portrait is featured on the obverse and is surrounded by the inscriptions LUCY HAYES, 19TH, 1877–1881, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, 2011, and the ‘W’ mint mark.

United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Susan Gamble designed the obverse, and it was sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart. United States Mint Associate Designer Barbara Fox created the reverse, and it was sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.

The reverse side portrays Lucy Hayes cheering as children play in the first Easter Egg Roll held at the White House.

"In 1878, President and Mrs. Hayes began the tradition of hosting the Easter Egg Roll on the White House grounds after learning the U.S. Capitol Building grounds were no longer allowed for the popular event," the US Mint wrote online for the coin.  "Staff members, parents and other onlookers watched in fascination as the children rolled both their hard-boiled eggs and themselves down the sloping south lawn.

The Washington Evening Star newspaper reported that children ‘rolled eggs down the terraces back of the Mansion, and played among the shrubbery to their hearts’ content.’ It estimated that ‘several hundred’ children were at this first White House Easter Egg Roll, thus starting a custom that endures today.  The reverse (tails) design represents Lucy Hayes’ participation in the first Easter Egg Roll held at the White House."

The inscriptions on the reverse include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 OZ. and .9999 FINE GOLD.

Lucy Hayes Bronze Medal

As for the Lucy Hayes bronze medal, it is available and is priced at $7.95.  It is nearly double the size of the gold coins, with a diameter at 1 5/16 inches, and it shares the same designs.

Order Information

To order, visit http://www.usmint.gov/ or call the toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing and speech-impaired customers may order by calling TTY 1-888-321-MINT (6468).

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