Curtain Goes Up on Designs for First Spouse Coins
Back to the U.S. Mint Press Release List
United States Mint Shows Off First Consecutive Coin Series
CANTON, OHIO — Following last month's announcement that the United
States Mint would produce circulating Presidential $1 Coins in 2007,
Director Edmund C. Moy and a Dolley Madison re-enactor raised the
curtain on designs for pure gold, collectible First Spouse Coins that
will coincide with the annual release of the Presidential $1 Coins.
"This marks the first time the United States Mint has featured women
on a consecutive series of coins," Director Moy told the crowd at the
National First Ladies Library as the images of the four 24-karat coins
were revealed. "Each coin is a half-ounce of pure gold. You might say
they are the Presidents' better half! Through this coin series,
Americans will learn more about how the First Spouses have served our
The 2007 First Spouse Coins feature the images of Martha Washington,
Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison in the order in which their husbands
served as President. Because President Thomas Jefferson's wife died in
1782 before he was elected in 1801, a symbolic rendition of liberty,
used on a coin of Jefferson's era (Draped Bust Half-Cent: 1800-1808),
will be featured on the third First Spouse Coin of the series.
The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 authorized the First Spouse
Coins as the pure gold (.9999) collectible counterparts of the
circulating Presidential $1 Coins. The First Spouse Coins will have a
denomination of $10, but their 24-karat gold content will be worth
considerably more than that. Prices for the First Spouse Coins, which
will be produced in proof and uncirculated versions, will be determined
closer to the sale date in May 2007, around Mothers Day. Bronze
duplicate medals of the First Spouse Coins will also be available.
The First Spouse Coins will be available in May 2007 on the United
States Mint's website, www.usmint.gov, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT.
More information about the new coins is on the website.
The obverse (heads side) of these coins will feature portraits of the
Nation's First Spouses, as well as inscriptions that include their
names, the years during which they were the spouse of a President during
the President's period of service, the year of minting or issuance, "In
God We Trust" and "Liberty." Each First Spouse Coin will also have a
unique reverse design featuring an image emblematic of that person'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 obverses of the Martha Washington and Abigail Adams coins were
designed and sculpted by Joseph Menna, a United States Mint medallic
sculptor. The obverse of the Dolley Madison coin was designed and
sculpted by Don Everhart, a United States Mint sculptor-engraver. The
Jefferson obverse image of Liberty appeared on the Draped Bust Half-Cent
coin from 1800-1808, originally executed by United States Mint Chief
Engraver Robert Scot. The image was re-sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, a
United States Mint medallic sculptor.
The Martha Washington reverse was designed by Susan Gamble of
Arlington, Virginia, an Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer.
The image was sculpted by Don Everhart, a United States Mint
sculptor-engraver. The reverse design depicts the future First Lady
sewing a button onto her husband's uniform jacket. During the
Revolutionary War, Martha Washington's concern for the colonial soldiers
earned their lasting respect and admiration.
The Abigail Adams reverse was designed by Thomas Cleveland of
Houston, Texas, an AIP Master Designer. The image was sculpted by Phebe
Hemphill, a United States Mint medallic sculptor. In one of her most
memorable letters, Mrs. Adams requested that her husband "remember the
ladies" when creating the new Republic. That inscription is on this
coin. John Adams acknowledged that Abigail Adams had as much political
insight as any of his colleagues, and that he valued her counsel above
The reverse of the Thomas Jefferson coin was designed and sculpted by
Charles Vickers, a United States Mint sculptor-engraver. The reverse
design depicts Thomas Jefferson's monument, located on the grounds of
his Monticello estate. Jefferson is widely recognized for his unmatched
expertise with the written word. Even in death, Jefferson left no room
for interpretation, leaving careful and precise instructions detailing
exactly which words would mark his final resting place.
The Dolley Madison reverse was designed by Joel Iskowitz of
Woodstock, New York, an AIP Master Designer. The image was sculpted by
Don Everhart, a United States Mint sculptor-engraver. The reverse design
depicts Dolley Madison, in an act of patriotism, saving the Cabinet
papers and the beautiful Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington,
when forced to flee the White House in advance of oncoming British
troops in August 1814.
For downloadable images of the First Spouse Coins designs, please
Contact: Press inquiries: Michael White (202) 354-7222 Customer
Service information: (800) USA MINT (872-6468)