The First Spouse Gold Coin Program will enter its eighth year in 2014, with coins issued to honor the spouses of the 29th to 32nd Presidents of the United States of America. The Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) recently reviewed design candidates for the coins which will honor Florence Harding, Grace Coolidge, Lou Hoover, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
The United States Mint had provided from three to seven different candidates for the obverse and reverse designs of each coin. The CFA reviewed the proposed designs at a meeting held on November 21 and provided their recommendations and comments. The same candidates were also reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) on November 22.
For the Florence Harding First Spouse Gold Coin, the CFA had recommended alternative #3 for the obverse and alternative #4 for the reverse. They found this to be an appropriate pairing and expressed support for the theme of women’s suffrage for the reverse design.
The CCAC had offered different recommendations for both the obverse and reverse. The group preferred obverse alternative #2 and reverse alternative #6.
The CFA recommended alternative #3 for the obverse of the Grace Coolidge First Spouse Gold Coin, consistent with their preference for profiles. For the reverse, they recommended alternative #3 with a suggestion to remove the letters “USA” from the hands in order to allow the sign language depiction of the letters to be the predominant feature of the design. They also suggested a careful study of the perspective and proportions of the White House portico depicted in the background.
The CCAC had recommended alternative #3 for the obverse design. They shared the CFA’s recommendation of alternative #3 for the reverse design, but suggested the letters “USA” should be moved from the hands and placed elsewhere on the design.
For the Lou Hoover First Spouse Gold Coin, the CFA recommended obverse alternative #2 and reverse alternative #4. They commented that the depiction of the radio would be more recognizable than the microphones shown in other alternatives.
The CCAC had offered their recommendation for obverse alternative #4. For the reverse, they offered the same recommendation as the CFA for alternative #4.
The CFA recommended obverse alternative #4 for the Eleanor Roosevelt First Spouse Gold Coin as the most recognizable portrait. For the reverse, they recommended alternative #6 which recognizes the magnitude of her public service. They did suggest reducing the size of the desk in the foreground to improve the balance of the composition.
The CCAC had also recommended obverse alternative #4, however for the reverse they recommended alternative #3.
Florence Harding Obverse and Reverse Design Candidates
Grace Coolidge Obverse and Reverse Design Candidates
Lou Hoover Obverse and Reverse Design Candidates
Eleanor Roosevelt Obverse and Reverse Design Candidates