The United States Mint on Thursday, October 11, began selling the first strike in the 2012 First Spouse Gold Coin line-up, the Alice Paul and the Suffrage Movement Gold Coins.
These coins are offered in proof and uncirculated qualities for $1,054 and $1,041 respectively — their prices can change if the average weekly price of gold moves significantly.
Featured on the obverse is a portrait of Alice Paul, a leader within the suffrage movement. Along the border of her image are the inscriptions Alice Paul, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, 2012, and SUFFRAGIST. It was designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
The scene on the reverse depicts a participant of the suffrage movement marching in a parade as she holds the U.S. flag and wears a sash with the words, "Votes for Women." Standard inscriptions along the edge are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, ½ OZ. and .9999 FINE GOLD. The design was created and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
Normally, this series honors the wives of the Presidents and the items launch within a few weeks of their Presidential $1 coin counterparts. President Chester Arthur, however, was already widowed by the time he ascended to the highest office, so Congress specifically called out Alice Paul to be honored, per the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-145).
An excerpt of the law reads, "…a design incorporating the name and likeness of Alice Paul, a leading strategist in the suffrage movement, who was instrumental in gaining women the right to vote upon the adoption of the 19th amendment and thus the ability to participate in the election of future Presidents, and who was born on January 11, 1885, during the term of President Arthur;" and that "the reverse [tails] …be representative of the suffrage movement."
As for the late timing — Arthur $1 coins launched on April 5, production obstacles were named as the root of the delay for getting out this year’s First Spouse Gold Coins. The Alice Paul coins are the first, and the others will feature Frances Cleveland (first term), Caroline Harrison and then Frances Cleveland (second term). Whether there is time before the year is finished for the Mint to release all three remains to be seen.
Orders for the 2012 Alice Paul First Spouse Gold Coins are being accepted online at the U.S. Mint’s website, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, and by phone at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). There are no household ordering limits but the total mintage limit of the coins is 13,000 across all product options.
Next up will be the Arthur Presidential $1 Coin and First Spouse Medal Set. Its launch is scheduled for Thursday, October 18, 2012 at noon Eastern Time for $9.95. In it are an uncirculated Chester Arthur Presidential $1 Coin and a bronze medal duplicate of the Alice Paul and the Suffrage Movement First Spouse Coin that measures 1 5/16 inches. The bronze medal of Alice Paul has the same artwork as the gold coins but does not have all of the inscriptions.