Today, Dec. 9, 2013, the United States Mint began taking orders for Ellen Wilson First Spouse Gold Coins.
These coins contain obverse and reverse designs honoring Ellen Wilson, wife of the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson.
Each is struck to either proof or uncirculated quality from one-half ounce of 99.99% pure gold. Like other coins of the series, they are produced at the United States Mint facility in West Point and bear the designating ‘W’ mint mark.
These 24-karat gold coins mark the fourth set of designs since mid-November. Typically, new releases from the First Spouse Gold Coin Program are issued in intervals throughout the year. However, a production issue known as "finning" delayed the 2013 coins resulting in a compressed release schedule. A total of five spousal coins are scheduled to appear in 2013, including:
- Ida McKinley (issued November 14, 2013)
- Edith Roosevelt (issued November 21, 2013)
- Helen Taft (issued December 2, 2013)
- Ellen Wilson
- Edith Wilson (release date scheduled for Dec. 16, 2013)
Coins of the program debuted in 2007 and honor the spouses of the former Presidents of the United States. In instances where a President had more than one wife while in office, each is honored on a separate coin. That is the case with this release and the upcoming Edith Wilson gold coin. Ellen passed away while her husband Woodrow was still President. He then married Edith.
Designs of Ellen Wilson First Spouse Gold Coins
Shown on obverses of Ellen Wilson First Spouse Gold Coins is a portrait of the former First Lady by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Associate Designer Frank Morris. It was sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles Vickers.
The right-facing effigy is surrounded by the inscriptions of ELLEN WILSON, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, 2013, 28th and 1913 -1914. Also appearing is the aforementioned West Point mint mark of ‘W’ and the artists’ initials.
Offered on reverses is a design emblematic of Ellen’s life which recalls her involvement in the creation of the White House Rose Garden. Roses are seen in the foreground with the White House in the distance.
Inscriptions include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 OZ., and .9999 FINE GOLD. This design was created and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.
Prices, Mintages and Ordering
Ellen Wilson First Spouse Gold Coins open at $815.00 for the proof and $795.00 for the uncirculated. These prices are subject to change, however, as a pricing matrix is used by the U.S. Mint to link gold coins of the program to recent gold market fluctuations. Current prices are based on a weekly London gold average of between $1,200 and $1,249.99 an ounce.
According to the United States Mint, a mintage cap of 10,000 has been applied to the coins with collector demand determining the ratio of proof to uncirculated coins. This same mintage is in use for each of the 2013-dated releases.
2013 Ellen Wilson First Spouse Gold Coins may be purchased directly from the United States Mint using the online ordering page, located here. Orders are also accepted by telephone at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
Each coin is encapsulated and presented in a lacquered hardwood display case. A numbered United States Mint Certificate of Authenticity is also included.
Ellen Wilson Bronze Medals
The United States Mint also strikes Ellen Wilson Bronze Medals as replicas of the associated gold coins. In past years, these bronze medals were offered for sale individually. However, now they are only available as part of sets.
One such product is the Woodrow Wilson $1 Coin & Ellen Wilson First Spouse Medal Set. This set is scheduled for release tomorrow, Dec. 10, for $9.95. It includes a Woodrow Wilson Presidential $1 Coin and a Ellen Wilson First Spouse Bronze Medal.
The medal will also be issued in the 2013 First Spouse Bronze Medal Set. It has bronze medal replicas of all five 2013 First Spouse Gold Coins. This five-medal set is scheduled to launch on Dec. 16 and it will be sold for $16.95.
About Ellen Wilson
Ellen Louise Axson Wilson was born May 15, 1860, in Savannah, Georgia. Her future husband, Woodrow, first met her when he was just six years old and she was still an infant. In 1885, the two were married.
Aside from many other important works while her husband served as President, Ellen is probably best known for her creation of the White House Rose Garden. She passed away from Bright’s disease in 1914, while Woodrow was still President.