The Release of the Caroline Harrison Gold Coin Celebrates Her Love For Orchids and Painting

With its stunning rendition of the former First Lady’s favorite flower, the orchid, adorning the reverse, The United States Mint has officially begun taking orders for the Caroline Harrison First Spouse Gold Coin.  This past Thursday, December 6, 2012, the 2012-W Caroline Harrison First Spouse Gold Coins – Proof and Uncirculated coins have become the latest in the popular First Spouse Gold Coin program.

Mrs. Caroline Harrison was the wife of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States, a coincidence that is not lost on the savvy collector who will mark this as the 24th issue of U.S. Mint’s First Spouse Gold Coin Program.  Each strike in the series has been offered in both proof and uncirculated qualities and the Harrison coin is no different.   It is composed of one half ounces of 99.99% pure gold.

The series first made headlines with collectors as it is the first of its kind to honor the spouses of former Presidents of the United States of America.  As we push forward into the years ahead, remembering the women who stood by the leaders of the free world with these 24-karat gold coins makes this a highly sought after collection piece, especially since they are being released in the order their husbands served. Began in 2007, this release is the third of four coins dated with 2012.

About the Design of Caroline Harrison First Spouse Gold Coin

The obverse portrait work by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Associate Designer Frank Morris was sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor/Engraver Michael Gaudioso and is a life-like capture of the elegance Caroline Harrison displayed.  She is surrounded by the words:  “CAROLINE HARRISON; IN GOD WE TRUST; LIBERTY; 2012; 23rd; 1889-1892”

The reverse speaks of the former First Lady’s love for flowers and painting, depicting a beautiful scape of orchids and paintbrushes.  This flare for nature plays well with the stunning gold luster and shine that emanates from the coin. This reverse scape was designed by AIP Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles L. Vickers and is inscribed with the words: “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; E PLURIBUS UNUM; $10; ½ OZ.; .9999 FINE GOLD.”

Who was Caroline Harrison?

Mrs. Harrison was born on March 4, 1889 and met the future president at Farmer’s College in Cincinnati, Ohio. The future president followed his love’s family when they moved, a sign of their undying devotion to each other.  But their love for each other was also shared with another entity: their country.  During the Civil War, Benjamin Harrison enlisted and fought bravely for his country while Caroline joined the Ladies Patriotic Association and the Ladies Sanitary Committee and helped in the background effort of the war.

After the war, Benjamin was elected president, a task that was only matched by Caroline’s complete overseeing of the renovation of the White House, the place in which she ultimately died from tuberculosis on October 25, 1892.

Pricing and Ordering

To order this latest coin in a long line of collectibles, the United States Mint takes direct orders on their website or can be reached by telephone at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment can call 1-888-321-MINT (6468).  Shipping and handling costs of $4.95 are added for domestic orders.

The Harrison First Spouse Gold Coins strikes pricing is currently listed at $1,029 for the proof coin and $1,016 for the uncirculated coin, though these prices are subject to change without notice.   These changes are based on the U.S. Mint’s numismatic gold coin pricing which is based on recent precious metal market activity.

Each coin ordered from the U.S. Mint will be encapsulated and encased in a customized, polished, lacquer hardwood display case, complete with a COA (Certificate of Authenticity).

Mintage Information Regarding The First Spouse Coin Program

Last year’s First Spouse Gold Coins featured a maximum mintage of 15,000 per strike and this year’s mintages are only set at 13,000.  Also available is the Bronze Medal replica of the Caroline Harrison Gold Coin, typically available only individually, but now being offered as part of a set scheduled for release on December 11, 2012 for $9.95.

Why do you think this year’s maximum mintage per strike has gone down?  Tell us below!