This week the proof version of the Eliza Johnson First Spouse Gold Coin went from ‘on sale’ to ‘no longer available,’ joining the uncirculated option that became unavailable earlier in the month.
First Spouse Gold Coins are often removed from sale about a year following their release — usually when a new issue becomes available. More recently, some have gone off sale when the supply of minted coins runs out.
Both Eliza Johnson coins were released by the United States Mint on May 5, 2011. The U.S. Mint then said they had a combined maximum mintage of 15,000. But the bureau strikes them to meet demand, as it is required to operate at no loss to the taxpayer. With demand weaker, actual coin sales reached less than half of the authorized mintage total.
Based on the latest sales figures as of June 18, 2012, coin collectors ordered 6,811. Splits were 3,906 for the proof and 2,905 for the uncirculated. To date, the proof mintage is the lowest of the no longer sold coins in the series. The uncirculated figure for Eliza is second, behind the 2009-dated Julia Tyler uncirculated coin that had last reported sales of 2,861.
First Spouse Gold Coins are issued in one-half ounce gold to a purity of 24-karat, or 99.99%. Each has a face value of $10 with a portrait of the former first lady on the obverse and a scene emblematic of her life on the reverse.
Those honoring Eliza Johnson are the 18th in the series. Four coins launch each year (there were five in 2009 as John Tyler was married twice while serving as the 10th President of the United States). This year’s 22nd-25th coins are not available, with the U.S. Mint on its product schedule showing "TBD" for To Be Determined as their release dates.