First Ladies to debut on new gold coin

Martha Washington, Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison will grace 24-karat, half-ounce collector's editions.


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The U.S. Mint is issuing a new series of gold collector coins that feature the nation's early First Ladies, the Mint said Tuesday.

The collection, which the Mint has dubbed "First Spouse," will feature the images of Martha Washington, Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison in the order in which their husbands served as president. The First Lady coins will be issued along with the annual release of the circulating Presidential $1 Coins in May 2007.

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Front and back of Dolley Madison's solid gold collector's coin, to be issued by the U.S. Mint as part of a series of "First Spouse" coins in May 2007.
dolley_madison_back.03.jpg

Because the wife of the nation's third president, Thomas Jefferson, died before he took office, a special coin will be issued featuring an image from a coin during Jefferson's presidency.

Mint Director Edmund Moy said in a statement that this is the first time the United States Mint has honored women on a consecutive series of coins. "Through this coin series, Americans will learn more about how the First Spouse have served our country."

The half-ounce, 24-karat gold coins will have a denomination of $10, but their value just in gold will obviously be much higher, the Mint said.

An ounce of gold currently goes for about $620.

The Mint said the actual selling price for the coins will be determined closer to the sale date in May.

The heads side of the coins will feature a portrait of the First Lady with inscriptions of their names, the years during which they were married to a President while he was in office, the year of minting, and the words "In God We Trust" and "Liberty."

The reverse side will have an emblem that's unique to each First Lady's life and work, as well as the inscriptions "The United States of America," "E Pluribus Unum," "$10," "1/2 oz." and ".9999 Fine Gold."

The reverse side of Martha Washington's coin has her sewing a button onto her husband's uniform, which the Mint's release said symbolized her concern for the colonial soldiers.

The reverse of Abigail Adam's coin is inscribed with the phrase "remember the ladies," which the Mint said is what she requested of her husband as he was creating the new nation.

The reverse of Thomas Jefferson's coin depicts his monument, located on his Monticello estate. It is meant express his expertise with the written word, which dictated exactly what should be inscribed on his final resting place, the Mint said.

The reverse of Dolley Madison's coin features the First Lady saving the Cabinet papers and a portrait of George Washington as British troops advanced on the White House in August 1814.

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