The United States Mint began taking orders Thursday, December 6, 2012, for the Caroline Harrison First Spouse Gold Coins.
Caroline Harrison was the wife of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States.
These coins are the 24th issued in the U.S. Mint’s First Spouse Gold Coin Program. Like all strikes of the series, they are available in both proof and uncirculated qualities and are composed of one half ounce of 99.99% pure gold.
The 24-karat gold series honors the spouses of the former Presidents of the United States in the order in which the chief executive served. The program debuted in 2007 with the Harrison release marking the third of the four 2012-dated coins.
Designs of Caroline Harrison First Spouse Gold Coins
A portrait of Caroline Harrison is found on the obverse of the coin. It is surrounded by the inscriptions of CAROLINE HARRISON, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, 2012, 23rd, and 1889-1892.
The portrait is the work of United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Associate Designer Frank Morris and was sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.
The reverse of the strike is emblematic of the love the former First Lady had for flowers. Shown is a close-up of an orchid and paint brushes.
The reverse was designed by AIP Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles L. Vickers. It includes the inscriptions of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, ½ OZ., and .9999 FINE GOLD.
Ordering and Pricing Information
Those wishing to order one of the Harrison First Spouse Gold Coins may do so directly from the United States Mint. Current pricing of the strikes is listed at $1,029 for the proof coin and $1,016 for the uncirculated coin. These prices are subject to change, however, as the U.S. Mint bases its numismatic gold coin pricing on recent precious metal market activity.
Orders may be placed on the U.S. Mint website located here. Orders are also accepted by telephone at 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). A $4.95 shipping and handling fee is added to all domestic orders.
The U.S. Mint encapsulates each coin and presents it along with a polished, custom-designed, lacquered hardwood display case. All orders also ship with a Certificate of Authenticity.
Mintages of First Spouse Gold Coins
Mintages of this release remain the same as the previous 2012-dated strikes at 13,000. This mintage applies across all product options. For comparison purposes, last year’s First Spouse Gold Coins featured maximum mintages of 15,000 per strike.
Caroline Harrison Bronze Medals
Bronze medal replicas of this First Spouse Gold Coin will also be available from the U.S. Mint. Traditionally, these medals were available for purchase individually, however this year they have only been released as part of the associated Presidential $1 Coin and First Spouse Medal Set.
The Harrison set is scheduled for release on December 11, 2012 at a price of $9.95.
Brief Caroline Harrison Biography
Caroline was born on March 4, 1889. She met her future husband-to-be, Benjamin Harrison, while he was a student of her father’s at Farmer’s College in Cincinnati, Ohio. When her father accepted another position at a different school, Benjamin moved so he could continue to be close to Caroline.
After marriage and with the onset of the American Civil War, the Harrison’s sought to help in the war effort. Benjamin joined the Army with Caroline participating in the Ladies Patriotic Association and the Ladies Sanitary Committee.
After Benjamin was elected President of the United States, Caroline went about the immense task of running the household. This included overseeing a massive renovation of the White House after she secured its funding from Congress. She died in the White House on October 25, 1892 from a battle with tuberculosis.