The final release of the year for the series honoring the First Ladies of the United States was the Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coin. This represented the twenty-first coin within the series overall.
Lucretia Garfield was the wife of the 20th President James A. Garfield. She had arrived with her family at the White House in March of 1881, but shortly thereafter became ill and went to a coastal area resort to recover. She was still there when her husband was shot, leaving one of the bullets lodged near his spine which would eventually lead to his death.
The Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Coin follows the design format of the series with a portrait of the First Lady on the obverse. The required inscriptions “Lucretia Garfield”, “In God We Trust”, and “Liberty” appear, along with the order of the Presidency, the year of the term, and the date and mint mark of the coin.
On the reverse is a scene of Lucretia Garfield painting. She holds a brush in one hand, a palette in the other, and sits before a canvas. This design was intended to represent her interest in art. This design had been recommended by both the Commission of Fine Arts and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, and eventually selected by the Treasury of the Secretary. The inscriptions surrounding include “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, the legal tender face value, and weight and fineness of the gold content.
The obverse was designed by US Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Barbara Fox, while the reverse was designed by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.
The Lucretia Garfield Coins officially went on sale at the United States Mint on December 1, 2011. The maximum mintage remained the same as other issues for the year at 15,000 pieces across the proof and uncirculated versions. The initial pricing was $1,029 for the proof version and $1,016 for the uncirculated version, which was adjusted weekly based on the market price of gold.
Following the unexpected sell out of the uncirculated version of the Lucy Hayes coin, speculative interest seemed to arise for the uncirculated Lucretia Garfield coin. A sell out for the uncirculated version occurred on August 9, 2012, yielding a final mintage of 2,168 pieces and narrowly establishing a new mintage low for the series. The proof version of the coin would remain available for sale until December 31, 2012 and carry a final mintage of 3,653 pieces.
Coin Specifications and Mintages
Mint: West Point (W)
Mintage: 2,168 (uncirculated), 3,653 (proof)
Designers: Barbara Fox (obverse), Michael Gaudioso (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)