May 23, 2024

US Mint Adjusts First Spouse Gold Coin Maximum Mintages

The United States Mint recently lowered the maximum mintages for their First Spouse Gold Coins. This series of gold coins features the spouses of each President with the coins struck in one-half ounce of 24 karat gold.

For the first three years of the series, each coin carried a maximum mintage of 40,000 coins. For 2010, three of the coins will have the maximum set at 15,000, and the Mary Todd Lincoln Coin, which is expected to be more popular, has the mintage set at 20,000.

The lowered maximum levels is somewhat of an admission that the popularity of the series has fizzled. After the first three coins of the series sold out in one day, buyers moved on as secondary market prices for the sold out coins peaked and declined. Recent issues have been selling less than 10,000 coins per issue.

Under law, the First Spouse Gold Coins are actually bullion coins. However, since the beginning of the series, the US Mint has sold them in the same way that they sell numismatic products. (Other bullion coins are distributed through the US Mint’s network of authorized dealers at small mark ups to the spot price of gold. Numismatic products are sold directly by the US Mint at much higher premiums.)

The First Spouse Gold Coins are currently priced at $729.00 for the proof versions and $716.00 for the uncirculated versions. The price of the uncirculated coins represents a premium of about $162.00 above gold value or 14.6%. These amounts fluctuate with the price of gold and adjustments to the prices of the coins.

Some of the prior releases have held onto these premiums (or have risen in price). The low mintages have added to numismatic premium to the coins which some collectors are willing to pay for.