Since the start of the First Spouse Gold Coin series, the US Mint has been issuing Bronze Medals bearing duplicate designs. Each medal features the same basic design as the corresponding gold coin, but with the inscriptions referencing to the denomination, gold content, and issue date removed. The medals have been produced by the Philadelphia Mint, although no mint mark is present. They measure 1- 5/16 inches in diameter. The bronze composition is a mixture of copper and zinc.
These bronze medals were authorized under the same enabling legislation Public Law 109-145. A section of the law provides the Secretary of the Treasury with the authority to strike and sell bronze medals that bear the likeness of the gold coins. Under the law, the price, size, weight, and inscriptions are left to the discretion of the Secretary.
The bronze medals have been minted to demand without a maximum mintage, although the period of availability has sometimes been limited. They have been offered for individual sale or packaged as an annual set containing all of the medals for the year. The US Mint has also offered Presidential $1 Coin & First Spouse Medal Set, which contain one uncircualted Presidential Dollar and the corresponding First Spouse Bronze Medal.
The issue prices and availability for the products has varied throughout the series.
In 2007, the bronze medal series produced an interesting error for collectors. Some of the 2007 First Spouse Bronze Four Medal Sets contained an Abigail Adams medal paired with the reverse of the Louisa Adams medal. When the obverse of a coin is matched with an improper reverse, this is known as a mule error. Examples of the Adams/Adams mule error medal have sold for up to $600 online.