When the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-145 [GPO: Text/PDF]) was passed, I was concerned that the minting of the First Spouse 24-karat gold coins would not be a success. With the price of gold soaring over $600 per ounce for the last few years and the requirement to use domestic sources of gold, it was speculated that the coins would cost over $400 each. Eventually, the US Mint priced the proof coins at $429.95 and the uncirculated coins at $410.95. Would people buy the coins at these prices?
The Mint has never had a program like this making it difficult to make the comparisons against other US Mint products. There have been other gold coin programs and the American Eagles are produced in gold, but the First Spouse coins are the first 24-karat fractional gold series. It would even be difficult to compare these coins with the various commemorative coin programs that have not been successful. Thus, the Mint is charting new territory.
With a production limit of 40,000 for both proof and uncirculated coins, the Mint has sold out of the Martha Washington and Abigail Adams First Spouse Gold Coins after two days of being available. It is difficult to tell whether this is the result of first issue sales or there is a genuine interest in these coins. Only time will tell.