Today, March 25, the United States Mint released its 2016-W $10 Betty Ford First Spouse Gold Coins in collector proof and uncirculated qualities.
Featuring a portrait and design emblematic of Mrs. Ford, wife of the 38th U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, the gold pieces are minted in one-half ounce of 24-karat gold to a purity of .9999 fine.
This release marks the second to last spousal coins. In 2007, the First Spouse Gold Coin Program debuted alongside the series of clad dollars commemorating deceased United States Presidents. The one remaining former first lady yet to be honored in the series is Nancy Reagan. That will happen in July.
Designs of Betty Ford Gold Coins
Design candidates for the Betty Ford coin became public in October 2014. They included a total of eight obverse portraits and seven reverse designs symbolic of her life. Last month, the U.S. Mint announced the winning designs.
Obverses (heads side) offer a portrait of the former first lady, as designed by Barbara Fox and sculpted by Michael Gaudioso.
Surrounding the effigy are inscriptions of BETTY FORD, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, 2016, 38th, and 1974-1977. Obverses also include initials of the artists and a "W" mint mark denoting their production at the West Point Mint.
The reverse (tails side) features a young woman ascending a staircase, representing Mrs. Ford’s openness and advocacy regarding addiction, breast cancer awareness, and the rights of women.
Inscriptions include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 OZ., and .9999 FINE GOLD. Chris Costello designed the scene and Renata Gordon executed its sculpting. Their initials are shown toward the lower portion of the design.
Ordering, Prices and Limits
Betty Ford First Spouse Gold Coins may be ordered directly from the United States Mint via its online store located here. Place phone orders using 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
Early pricing is $815.00 for the proof and $795.00 for the uncirculated. These are subject to change according to a United States Mint pricing schedule for gold coins. Current prices are based on a weekly average of LBMA gold that is within the range of $1,200.00 to $1,249.99 an ounce.
No more than 10,000 gold pieces will be issued, with customer demand determining the ratio of proof to uncirculated coins. Earlier this year, the Mint released the first 2016-dated spousal coins featuring Patricia Nixon, wife of the 37th U.S. President Richard Nixon. Their sales as of March 20 are 1,826 for the proof and 1,052 for the uncirculated.
Betty Ford Bronze Medals
Bronze medal replicas of the coins will also be available. They will be released as part of the 2016 Ford Presidential $1 and First Spouse Medal Set on April 8 and as part of the 2016 First Spouse Bronze Medal Set that goes on sale in August.