The 2013 Helen Taft First Spouse Gold Coin represented the third release of the year for the series. Sales for each of the coins had opened in rapid succession due to production problems and other issues, which had delayed the release until nearly the end of the year.
The obverse of the coin featured a front facing portrait of the First Lady designed by William C. Burgard and engraved by Phebe Hemphill. The image was surrounded by the required inscriptions “Helen Taft”, “In God We Trust”, “Liberty”, “2013”, the “W” mint mark, the order of the Presidency “27th”, and the dates served “1909-1913”.
On the reverse was an abstracted cherry blossom design, intended to symbolize Helen Taft’s role in bringing the cherry trees to Washington, D.C. Together with some of the other reverse designs for the year, this continued a shift towards more symbolic images as opposed to literal interpretations. Inscriptions on the reverse included “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, “$10”, and “1/2 oz. .9999 Fine Gold”. The reverse was designed by Richard Masters and engraved by Charles Vickers.
Sales opened on December 2, 2013 with the typical proof and uncirculated versions available. The initial pricing was $815 for the proof version and $795 for the uncirculated version. This represented a new low for initial pricing and was based on an average weekly market price of gold within the $1,200 to $1,249.99 range. Pricing would remain subject to potential change throughout the course of the offering.
A maximum mintage of 10,000 pieces was established across both versions of the coin. Collector demand had fallen considerably since the initial releases of the series, and accordingly the United States Mint had gradually reduced the mintage levels.
Sales for the coin would continue through the close of the year, into the following year, and then into 2015. When the coins were finally removed from sale by the US Mint, the last reported sales figures indicated total distribution of 1,993 uncirculated coins and 2,598 proofs.
Coin Specifications and Mintages
Mint: West Point (W)
Mintage: 1,993 (uncirculated), 2,598 (proof)
Designers: William C. Burgard (obverse), Richard Masters (reverse)
Composition: 0.9999 Gold
Weight: 0.5000 troy oz. (15.554 g)
Diameter: 1.041 inches (26.49 mm)
Thickness: 0.074 inches (1.88 mm)