2012 Alice Paul and the Suffrage Movement Gold Coins were released by the United States Mint on Thursday, October 11, 2012. These collector coins honoring Paul are composed from 1/2 ounce of 99.99% pure gold.
The 24-karat gold coins are produced in collector proof and uncirculated qualities, marking the debut issues of the First Spouse Gold Coins for 2012 and the twenty-second overall in the series.
Designs of Alice Paul Suffragist Gold Coins
A forward facing portrait of Alice Paul graces the obverse of each coin. Inscriptions include, "ALICE PAUL," "IN GOD WE TRUST," "LIBERTY," "2012," "SUFFRAGIST" and "W" for the West Point mint mark and
Reverses depict a woman marching in the suffrage parade. She holds the U.S. flag upon her shoulder and wears a sash with the words VOTES FOR WOMEN across her torso. Surrounding the image are the inscriptions, "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "E PLURIBUS UNUM," "$10," "1/2 OZ." and ".9999 FINE GOLD."
Delayed Release, Unique in First Spouse Series
In past years, three of the spousal coins would have already been issued by October. After months of waiting, the U.S. Mint explained delays resulted from production problems.
Also deviating from the norm, Alice Paul was not a First Lady although her coin is the companion to the 2012 Chester Arthur Presidential $1 Coin. Arthur’s wife died of pneumonia in 1880, before he was the Vice President nominee on James Garfield’s Presidential ticket. Garfield won the election, but he was shot shortly afterward. Arthur served his term from 1881 until 1885.
When a President served without a spouse, the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, Public Law 109-145, mandates that companion First Spouse Gold Coins bear the likeness of Liberty. That was the case with the companion coins for Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan, which are often called the Liberty Subset of First Spouse Gold Coins. For President Chester Arthur, however, Congress specifically stated that Alice Paul, a leading strategist in the suffrage movement, be used in association with Arthur.
Order, Mintage and Pricing Information
Opening prices are $1,054 for the proof and $1,041 for the uncirculated. As is the case with all U.S. Mint numismatic gold coins, prices are subject to change based on the market value of gold.
Interested collectors may place orders for 2012 Alice Paul and the Suffrage Movement Gold Coins at the U.S. Mint website located here, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment can use the dedicated line at 1-888-321-MINT (6468). As usual, a $4.95 shipping and handling fee are added to all domestic orders.
Coins in this series sell separately and come packaged in a clear protective coin holder within a polished, custom-designed, lacquered hardwood presentation case that includes a Certificate of Authenticity.
This year the U.S. Mint has lowered mintages for the spousal gold coins to a total of 13,000 units across the proof and uncirculated options, which is down from the 15,000 maximum for 2011 strikes. Early demand/sales, however, has tended to set the tone for mintages that have ended in a smaller amounts than earlier published.
Alice Paul and the Suffrage Movement Bronze Medals
At this time, there is no information available as to the issuance of a separate bronze medal measuring 1 5/16 inches and bearing a likeness to the Alice Paul gold coins. Previous releases in the series of First Spouse Gold Coins were accompanied by more affordable bronze medal alternatives that sold separately for $6.95.
The Mint has scheduled the Chester Arthur Presidential $1 Coin & First Spouse Medal Set, which will contain an Alice Paul and the Suffrage Movement Bronze Medal and an uncirculated Chester Arthur Presidential $1 Coin. Expected to launch next Thursday, the price will be $9.95.
Brief Alice Paul Biography
Alice Paul was born during President Arthur’s term. Education was a priority in her young adult life as was gender equality. She joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association and became better known after she organized a successful parade for their cause in Washington D.C. That occurred on the day before President Wilson’s inauguration.
Her activities continued and her focus narrowed to the call for a national amendment for women’s rights. Part of that goal was attained with the monumental passage in 1920 of the Nineteenth Amendment, allowing female U.S. citizens the right to vote.