First Spouse Gold Coins – Will the Popularity Endure?
by Michael Zielinski – Article Contributed to CoinLink
The First Spouse Gold Coin Series is proving to be one of the most popular mint offerings in years. So far, three coins have been released, and all have sold out within hours of the initial offering. With coins scheduled to be released until at least 2016, many collectors have been wondering whether the initial popularity of the series will endure.
The First Spouse Gold Coin Program was created by Public Law 109-145 to honor the First Spouses of the United States of America. Because all First Spouses to date have been women, the coins are sometimes referred to as the First Lady coins.
Each coin includes a portrait of the First Spouse on the obverse. The reverse features a unique design representative of the spouse’s life and work. In the event that a President served without a First Spouse, the obverse will include an image of Liberty which was used on circulating coinage during the President’s term.
To date, coins have been released to honor Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Thomas Jefferson’s Liberty. The mint imposed strict ordering limits on the coins in an attempt to attain the broadest possible distribution. The ordering limit for the first two coins was five of each option per household. After the quick sell out for these coins, the mint reduced the limit to one of each option per household for the third coin offered. Even with the reduced limit, coins still sold out within hours.
Will the popularity endure?
Several things may happen which would impact the future popularity of the series. First, part of the reason for the quick sell outs has been the relatively low authorized mintage of 40,000 per coin. For future years, the U.S. Mint does have the ability to increase the authorized mintage. A higher authorized mintage would prevent the quick sell outs, which thus far have added an allure to the series.
Second, many of the First Spouse Gold coins which were purchased have been immediately offered for sale on the secondary market. It has been common practice for speculators to immediately offer sold out coins at online auction venues for large premiums. If these premiums fail to prove sustainable, speculators who accelerated the sell outs might look for a new coin to target.
Third, the series has a very long duration. Since coins will be released at a rate of only four per year, the current release schedule runs through 2016. Over the years, collectors who initially had the intention to assemble a complete set might have their attentions stray to other series or newer mint offerings.
While it does appear likely that the popularity of the series will wane over the coming years, this does not rule them out as an investment and collectible. The coins released so far have featured beautiful and unique designs and honored the achievements of our First Spouses. Patient collectors with a long term collecting horizon will continue to be rewarded for years to come.
About the Author: Michael Zielinski is an internet entrepreneur and coin collector. For further information and resources on the First Spouse Coin Program visit First Spouse Gold. For up to date news on new offerings from the US Mint, visit Mint News Blog.
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