The United States Mint launched the Jane Pierce First Spouse Gold Coins on Thursday, June 3, at 12 Noon (Eastern). These 24-karat gold coins are struck to honor the former First Lady who was married to the fourteenth President of the United States Franklin Pierce.
Available in either proof or uncirculated condition, the .9999 fine gold coins mark the fifteenth for the first spouse series which debuted in 2007 with a strike honoring Martha Washington (wife of the first President of the United States George Washington).
Since that release, the spouses of four presidents have been issued annually to coincide with the release of each of the Presidential $1 Coins struck to honor the presidents themselves.
The coins’ opening price is $779 for the proof and $766 for the uncirculated version. Costs may be adjusted weekly, however, as the Mint ties it to their precious metal coin pricing policy which links the cost to the average of the London gold fix the previous week. (For more information on the series, see 2010 First Spouse Gold Coins.)
Bronze medals produced in the likeness of the Pierce coin will also be available from the Mint for $5.50.
Jane Pierce Biography
Jane’s father (who was President of Bowdoin College) passed away while she was still a child forcing her family to move in with her wealthy maternal grandparents. Several years later she met a young Franklin Pierce who had attended the same college her father used to run.
A romance blossomed almost immediately between the two, but progress in the relationship moved very slowly. Two factors undoubtedly influenced this. First, Jane’s family opposed the marriage and second, Franklin was extremely focused on his career as a lawyer with eventual political ambitions.
Finally, at the age of 28 (much older than typical for the time), Jane married Franklin who was already a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He would become a US Senator a few years later despite Jane’s constant dislike of the political life. Probably owing to that dislike, Franklin retired from politics in 1842 only to be surprisingly put on the ballot as President of the United States ten years later.
Having already lost two children, Jane was opposed to her family life being interrupted. Then, as their only surviving child was killed in a freak train wreck shortly before Pierce’s inauguration, Jane descended into a period of depression that lasted through most of her husband’s term.
Jane Pierce Coin Specifications
A maximum mintage of only 15,000 has been put in place for the Pierce gold coins. Customer demand will dictate the ratio of proof to uncirculated coins that will be produced by the Mint for the coin as well as its final mintage. In previous years, the US Mint had a much higher mintage cap of 40,000 for the spouse series, but has not attained numbers above 15,000 since their debut year of 2007.
Each coin features a face value of $10 and is struck from 1/2 ounce of 99.99% pure gold.
The 2010 First Spouse Gold Coin designs were revealed back in December 2009 by the US Mint. A solemn portrait of Jane Pierce is featured on the obverse of her coin surrounded by the inscriptions JANE PIERCE, 14TH 1853-1857, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY and 2010.
It was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart
On the reverse, Jane is shown sitting in the visitor’s gallery of the old Senate Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building while listening to a debate. It was also designed by Weaver but sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles L. Vickers. The inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10 and 1/2 OZ. .9999 FINE GOLD all surround the scene.
Customers may order any of the available First Spouse Coins at the United States Mint Web site, http://www.usmint.gov/, or at the toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing and speech-impaired customers may order by calling TTY 1-888-321-MINT (6468).
This year, the Abigail Fillmore First Spouse Gold Coins were the first to become available on March 18, 2010. Following the Pierce coins will be Buchanan’s Liberty and Mary Todd Lincoln gold pieces.