Celebrating four former First Ladies of the United States, fifty-two possible designs for the 2015 First Spouse Gold Coins and associated medals were recently revealed by the U.S. Mint. These images include portraits of the honored spouses and designs emblematic of their life.
All of the design candidates have been reviewed by the United States Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). Final selections are up to the Treasury Secretary. 2015 First Spouse Gold Coins honor:
- Bess Truman
- Mamie Eisenhower
- Jacqueline Kennedy
- Claudia Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson
Coins of the series debuted in 2007 and are issued in collector qualities of proof and uncirculated. Each is struck from one-half ounce of 99.99% pure gold. Bronze medal replicas of the gold coins are also produced. Both are issued in association with the series Presidential $1 Coins which features four releases annually honoring Presidents in the order in which they served.
Images of 2015 First Spouse Gold Coins and Medal Designs
The CFA reviewed designs for the 2015 Spouse First Spouse Coins on Sept. 18, 2014 and the CCAC checked them out on Sept. 23, 2014. Images of the designs and CFA and CCAC recommendations are below. Also included are brief narratives of each design as provided by the United States Mint.
Bess Truman First Spouse Gold Coins and Medal Designs
Seven different images for the obverse of the Bess Truman coins and medal were submitted for review. Recommended Obverse: The CFA liked design #2 and the CCAC liked design #3.
Six design candidates were presented for the reverse. Recommended Reverse: The CCAC liked design #2 and the CFA preferred design #3 if the foreground banners are removed.
FS-BT-R-01 – Features the hands of Bess Truman cradling her husband’s campaign button, representing Mrs. Truman’s support of Harry Truman’s political career.
FS-BT-R-02 – In 1948, Bess Truman helped campaign with her husband on his whistle stop campaign trip for re-election as president. This design depicts a train wheel moving along train tracks, of which 22,000 miles were covered during his second-term presidential campaign.
FS-BT-R-03 – Depicts an image of an engine reminiscent of the 1940s locomotives which would have carried the special presidential train car Bess Truman rode on during the campaign tour. This design was stylized to suggest a vintage railroad poster.
FS-BT-R-04 – Bess Truman was introduced by her husband at the conclusion of many of his Whistle-Stop speeches as "The Boss." Mrs. Truman is depicted here waving from the speaking platform at the back of the train.
FS-BT-R-05 – Bess Truman, as with all Americans, complied with mandatory rationing at the White House during World War II. Mrs. Truman continued with voluntary food rationing following World War II to support the United States efforts to send food donations to the people of Europe devastated by the war. This design shows an American woman going through her ration stamps to make a purchase.
FS-BT-R-06 – Bess Truman signed a "housewife’s pledge," a promise meant to inspire fellow Americans to follow the guidelines for voluntary food rationing with her. In this design, an allegorical Liberty in farmer’s overalls carries produce from a victory garden, one of several ways that Americans supplemented their rationed diets.
Mamie Eisenhower First Spouse Gold Coins and Medal Designs
Five obverse designs for Mamie Eisenhower coins and medal were presented for review. Recommended Obverse: The CCAC and CFA selected design #5.
Six reverse designs were submitted. Recommended Reverse: The CFA preferred design #3 and the CCAC liked design #4.
FS-ME-R-01 and FS-ME-R-02 – Both feature the hand of Mamie Eisenhower lighting one of the candelabras before a White House dinner. Mrs. Eisenhower oversaw all details for White House official functions, whether they involved dinner menus, flower arrangements, or the protocol for greeting dignitaries to the White House.
FS-ME-R-03 – Depicts a hand holding an "I Like Mamie" button representing her role in her husband’s presidential campaign. She was so popular with the public, that "I Like Mamie" buttons mimicking the "I Like Ike" buttons began to appear.
FS-ME-R-05 – Mamie Eisenhower accompanied her husband on his whistle-stop campaign tour, helping to edit his speeches and lending appeal to women voters.
FS-ME-R-06 – Depicts the first house owned by the Eisenhowers. The Eisenhowers’ homes, a popular destination, were often referred to as "Club Eisenhower". Mrs. Eisenhower continued to live and entertain guests here after her husband’s death.
Jacqueline Kennedy First Spouse Gold Coins and Medal Designs
Eight obverse designs for Jacqueline Kennedy coins and medal were submitted for review. Recommended Obverse: The CCAC and CFA selected design #8.
Five reverse designs were presented. Recommended Reverse: The CCAC liked design #1. The CFA preferred design #5, but suggested a more "dignified and less cartoonish composition." The CFA also offered some support for design #2 if design #5 cannot be developed adequately.
FS-JK-R-01 – Depicts the elegant Saucer Magnolia, a flower Jacqueline Kennedy selected for planting in the White House garden and at the Eternal Flame, which would become the final resting place for her and the President. The petals stretch across a globe, its tips connecting the points of some of her most notable diplomatic visits: Washington, DC; Colombia and Venezuela; Morocco; Italy and Greece; and Paris and London.
FS-JK-R-02 – Features Jacqueline Kennedy, a dedicated mother whose priority was her young children, holding her son John on the White House lawn.
FS-JK-R-03 – Represents a television from the 1960s, showing Mrs. Kennedy’s tour of the White House. This tour was notable as it was the first televised tour of the White house given by a First Lady and was also shown throughout the world, including France – a version in which Mrs. Kennedy gave the tour in French.
FS-JK-R-04 – Depicts the flag that was given to Mrs. Kennedy at her husband’s funeral, surrounded by thirty-four stars. The date is the date of President Kennedy’s assassination. The stars represent John F. Kennedy as the 35th President, with the 35th star removed to leave an open space at the top, replaced by the stars on the flag.
FS-JK-R-05 – This design features symbols for comedy and tragedy to represent the theater, musical notes and treble cleft to represent music, and an artist’s palette and brushes to symbolize the visual arts. Jacqueline Kennedy was a persistent advocate for the arts. Music, theater, and visual arts were all given a high priority at White House events and in her efforts to bring America’s classic paintings and sculpture to the White House.
Lady Bird Johnson First Spouse Gold Coins and Medal Designs
Seven obverse designs for "Lady Bird" Johnson coins and medal were submitted for review. Recommended Obverse: The CFA liked design #3, but with a more characteristic depiction of her hair as in alternative #5. The CCAC actually preferred design #5.
Eight reverse designs were presented. Recommended Reverse: The CCAC liked design #1. The CFA also liked design #1, but with the modification to reduce the scale of the Jefferson Memorial, giving increased prominence to the text.
FS-LJ-R-01 – Depicts the inscription "Beautify our cities, parks and highways," the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial, graced by an arrangement of flowers. Mrs. Johnson started her beautification efforts in Washington, DC, setting an example for other American cities.
FS-LJ-R-02 – Conveys one of Lady Bird Johnson’s frequently quoted messages, "Where flowers bloom, so does hope."
FS-LJ-R-03 and FS-LJ-R-04 – Both feature vehicles traveling along a highway with a stylized sun in the background. Reverse-03 mirrors the sun with the petals of a gerbera daisy, while reverse-04 has apple blossoms blooming into the foreground. "Lady Bird’s Bill" targeted certain types of signs and junkyards for removal from view from the nation’s highways.
FS-LJ-R-05 – Shows gloved hands planting marigolds. Mrs. Johnson enjoyed nature and was frequently photographed amongst the wildflowers she helped to plant.
FS-LJ-R-06 – Features a single daffodil, representative of the millions of daffodils that were planted during Lady Bird’s beautification of America.
FS-LJ-R-07 – Presents a daffodil, ceremonial shovel, and blue bonnet flower, representing Mrs. Johnson’s commitment to the beautification of America and conservation of the nation’s natural resources.
FS-LJ-R-08 – Depicts a solitary bluebonnet wildflower, found in the wilds of Texas, where Mrs. Johnson grew up appreciating the beauty of nature.