Today the United States Mint unveiled the designs for the upcoming 2010 First Spouse Gold Coins. The four coins will feature Abigail Fillmore, Jane Pierce, James Buchanan’s Liberty, and Mary Todd Lincoln.
The First Spouse Gold Coin series began in 2007 to accompany the Presidential Dollar series. Each year, one half ounce 24 karat gold coins are issued that are emblematic of the spouse of each President. In general, the obverse of each coin features a portrait of the First Lady and the reverse features images emblematic of her life and work. If a President served without a spouse, then an image representative of the concept of Liberty is used for the obverse, with a reverse design representative of the themes of the President.
The Abigail Fillmore First Spouse Gold Coin features her portrait as designed and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The reverse of the coin features an image of Abigail Fillmore shelving books in the White House Library that she established. The reverse was designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Joseph Menna.
The Jane Pierce First Spouse Gold Coin features her portrait on the obverse, designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Don Everhart. The reverse depicts Jane Pierce seated in the visitors gallery of the Old Senate Chamber. She is known to have sat there to listen to the debates about the issue of slavery. The reverse was designed by Donna Weaver and sculped by Charles Vickers.
The James Buchanan’s Liberty Gold Coin features a reproduction of the obverse of the Liberty Head Quarter Eagle, which was produced from 1840 to 1907 and originally designed by Christian Gobrecht. This design of “Liberty” is used because James Buchanan served as President without a spouse. The reverse of the coin depicts a young James Buchanan working in the family store as a book-keeper. The reverse was designed by David Westwood and sculpted by Joseph Menna.
The Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse Gold Coin features her portrait on the obverse designed and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The reverse featues a scene of Mary Todd Lincoln visiting wounded Union soldiers and bringing them flowers and books. The reverse of the coin was designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculped by Phebe Hemphill.