Description

The Nation’s First Ladies are being honored on a series of one-half ounce 24 karat gold coins. The coins are considered numismatic items and have a nominal face value of $10. Typically, four different designs are released per year featuring the spouses of the Presidents in the order served. The First Spouse Gold Coins represent the first time that the United States Mint has featured women on a consecutive series of coins.

The program was authorized under Public Law 109-145 The Presidential $1 Coin Act. In addition to authorizing the Presidential Dollars series, which features the former Presidents in the order served, the law also provided for the issuance of gold coins featuring the President’s spouses.

For Presidents who served in office with a first and second wife, two gold coins are issued for the Presidency. For Presidents who served in office without a spouse, a depiction of Liberty is presented on the obverse of the coin for four instances, with Suffragist Alice Paul depicted for the final instance.

The obverse of each First Spouse coin features a portrait of the spouse being honored. The reverse design of each coin contains images emblematic of the spouse being honored. Some of the reverse designs so far have included memorable scenes from the spouse’s life, or images representative of their major contributions, themes, or accomplishments.

Obverse

Depicts a portrait of Sarah Polk. The inscriptions include “Sarah Polk”, the motto “In God We Trust”, “Liberty”, the order of the Presidency “11th”, the dates of the Presidential term "1845-1849", and the date and mintmark "W".

Sarah Childress Polk (1803–1891) was the first lady of the United States from 1845 to 1849. She was the wife of the 11th president of the United States, James K. Polk.

Well-educated in a successful family, Sarah met her future husband at a young age. They never had children of their own, though they did foster relatives. Socially keen and well informed, Sarah helped her husband's career with her hosting skills and advised him on political matters at times, though she stayed out of the public limelight. Following her husband's death in 1849, Sarah had a 42-year widowhood, the longest of any First Lady.

Design: Phebe Hemphill (PH)

SARAH POLK
IN GOD
WE
TRUST
LIBERTY
2009
W
PH
11th 1845-1849

Reverse

Depicts a scene of Sarah seated at a desk as personal secretary to James Polk The reverse inscriptions include “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, the denomination “$10”, the gold content “1/2 oz.”, and the gold purity “.9999 Fine Gold”.

James Knox Polk (1795–1849) was the 11th President of the United States (1845–1849). Polk is often considered the last strong pre–Civil War president, having met during his four years in the office every major domestic and foreign policy goal set during his campaign and the transition to his administration: When Mexico rejected American annexation of Texas, Polk led the nation to a sweeping victory in the Mexican–American War, seizing nearly the whole of what is now the American Southwest. He threatened war with the United Kingdom over the issue of which nation owned the Oregon Country, eventually reaching a settlement in which the British were made to sell the portion that became the Oregon Territory.

Design: Phebe Hemphill (PH)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
PH
• E PLURIBUS UNUM • $10 • 1/2 Oz. .9999 FINE GOLD •

Edge
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Gold
Fineness 0.999
Weight 15.552 g
Diameter 26.5 mm
Thickness 1.88 mm
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Mint
West Point Mint (W)

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