Issued by the US Mint as the fourth annual strikes of the series was the 2010 First Spouse Gold Coins. These $10 coins are struck from one ounce of .9999 fine gold and honor the spouses of the former Presidents of the United States.
Authorized as part of the Presidential $1 Coin Act (Public Law 109-145), these strikes are released on a schedule similar to another series of strikes authorized by the same act – the Presidential $1 Coin. Under the act, four of the Presidential $1 Coins are to be issued annually with their corresponding First Spouse Coins released on approximately the same schedule.
The spouses are honored on each coin with an obverse portrait of the individual surrounded by inscriptions including their name, the years of their service, the year of issue and IN GOD WE TRUST and LIBERTY. The reverse showcases a scene in the life of the spouse and also includes the inscriptions of THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 OZ. and .9999 FINE GOLD.
Each 24-karat gold coin has a diameter of 1.043 inches with a thickness of 0.074 inches. The Mint strikes them at its facility in West Point to either proof or uncirculated condition.
Four different First Spouse Coins were issued by the US Mint in 2010, including:
- Abigail Fillmore Gold Coins, honoring the wife of Millard Fillmore
- Jane Pierce Gold Coins, honoring the wife of Franklin Pierce
- Buchanan’s Liberty Gold Coins, representative of the tenure of James Buchanan
- Mary Todd Lincoln Gold Coins, honoring the wife of Abraham Lincoln
In the instance when a President served without a spouse, an image of Liberty taken from a coin used during the time of that President’s administration will be used instead. This is exemplified by the Buchanan’s Liberty shown above which uses the Liberty Head Quarter Eagle design used from 1840-1907 and designed by Christian Gobrecht.