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Celebrate Women's History Month with APMEX

Published on 03/26/2021 by APMEX

Celebrate Women's History Month with APMEX

March is Women's History Month, which commemorates the study, observance, and celebration of women's vital role in history. From famous First Ladies to the iconic Britannia, APMEX carries a wide selection of products featuring depictions of influential women in history.

Gold First Spouse Coins

The United States Mint honors the nation's first spouses by issuing 1/2 oz $10 Gold coins featuring their likenesses in the order they served as First Spouse. In 2007, the United States Mint released the first four coins in a series of Gold First Spouse coins. These Gold coins are the U.S. government's first 1/2 oz .9999 fine Gold coins and are also the first U.S. Mint commemorative 1/2 oz Gold coins – extending the U.S. Mint Gold options available.

The obverse of each First Spouse Gold coin features a portrait of the First Lady with an inscription of their name, presidential order, and years of their term as First Spouse, along with the year of minting. The reverse of the highly collectible Gold coin highlights a unique image emblematic of that spouse's life and work.

The U.S. Mint issues First Spouse Gold coins on the same schedule as the Presidential $1 Coins honoring the presidents. With a face value of $10, these Gold coins are minted and released annually in the order the First Spouses served in the White House. Each First Spouse Gold Coin will be minted in Uncirculated and Proof conditions and will coincide with the release of the four annual Presidential $1 Coins.

The First Spouses to Appear on the Gold Coins

In the order they served as first spouse:

Martha Washington (1789-1797)
Abigail Adams (1797-1801)
Thomas Jefferson's Liberty (1801-1809)
Dolley Madison (1809-1817)
Elizabeth Monroe (1817-1825)
Louisa Adams (1825-1829)
Andrew Jackson's Liberty (1829-1837)
Martin Van Buren's Liberty (1837-1841)
Anna Harrison (1841)
Letitia Tyler (1841-1842) & Julia Tyler (1844-1845)
Sarah Polk (1845-1849)
Margaret Taylor (1849-1850)
Abigail Fillmore (1850-1853)
Jane Pierce (1853-1857)
James Buchanan's Liberty (1857-1861)
Mary Lincoln (1861-1865)
Eliza Johnson (1865-1869)
Julia Grant (1869-1877)
Lucy Hayes (1877-1881)
Lucretia Garfield (1881)
Alice Paul (1881-1885)
Frances Cleveland (first term) (1885-1889) 23. Caroline Harrison (1889-1893)
Frances Cleveland (second term) (1893-1897)
Ida McKinley (1897-1901)
Edith Roosevelt (1901-1909)
Helen Taft (1909-1913)
Ellen Wilson (1913-1914) & Edith Wilson (1915-1921)
Florence Harding (1921-1923)
Grace Coolidge (1923-1929)
Lou Hoover (1929-1933) 32. Eleanor Roosevelt (1933-1945)
Elizabeth Truman (1945-1953)
Mamie Eisenhower (1953-1961)
Jacqueline Kennedy (1961-1963)
Claudia Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson (1963-1969)
Patricia Ryan "Pat" Nixon (1969-1974)
Elizabeth Bloomer "Betty" Ford (1974-1977)
Eleanor Rosalynn Carter (1977-1981)
Nancy Reagan (1981–1989)
Barbara Bush (1989-1993)
Hillary Clinton (1993-2001)
Laura Bush (2001-2008)
Michelle Obama (2008-2016)
Melania Trump (2016-2020)
Jill Biden (2020-present)

Germania Allegories Series

In the Western world, the first feminine personifications of nations were usually majestic manifestations of values considered to characterize the communities of given countries or regions. Many of these visualizations came from Athena's image and took the Latin names of the ancient Roman provinces, such as Germania, Polonia, Britannia and Italia.

Treating the country as a metaphor for home and family, nations have always identified their countries with maternal protection, which provided them with a sense of security and community.

Wishing to pay tribute to them, a series of coins called The Allegories was brought to life to celebrate the extraordinary figures of mothers of nations. For centuries, they have encouraged people in the most challenging moments of human history. Thus, for the first time in the history of numismatics, on the following coins of The Allegories series, Germania will meet with legendary national personifications in symbolic circumstances.

British Britannia Coins

Britannias are British coins issued by The Royal Mint since 1987. Beginning with Gold, Silver followed in 1997, while Platinum wasn’t included until 2018. The coins feature a variety of depictions of Britannia, a feminine personification of the United Kingdom.

Introduced by The Royal Mint in 1987, Gold Britannia coins have played a significant role in the coin market. Gold Britannias are issued in 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz sizes with face values in British pounds (£) of £100, £50, £25, and £10, respectively. They are .9167 fine Gold and are legal tender in Great Britain. Until 1990, the Gold Britannia was alloyed with Copper. However, beginning in 1990, the coins have been alloyed with Silver, which gives those issued since 1990 a lighter yellow color than the earlier Britannias. In 2013, the fineness increased to .9999 fine.

Following the success of the Gold Britannia bullion coins introduced in 1987, the Royal Mint produced a 1 oz Silver Britannia coin in 1997, with the 1997 Silver Britannias being issued only as Proof coins with a mintage of 20,000. Silver Britannia coins have a face value of £2. The Silver bullion coins produced from 1998 to 2012 are .958 fine Silver, as opposed to the standard British sterling of .925 fine Silver with the 2013 bullion issue being .999 fine. Silver Britannias are issued in 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz sizes with face values of £1, 50p, and 20p, respectively.

In 1998 and in all following even-numbered years, the reverse design has depicted a standing Britannia figure. Beginning in 1999 and continuing in odd-numbered years, a series of alternate, non-repeating depictions of Britannia have appeared on the reverse.

The Silver Britannia’s attractive design was created to appeal to both collectors and investors alike. The obverse of the 1997 issue of the Silver coin features the “Third Portrait” used on British decimal bullion coins dated from 1985 to 1997. In 1998, the obverse design of the Silver Britannia coin, along with the obverse designs on all other British coins, changed to depict the “Fourth Portrait,” a more mature likeness of Queen Elizabeth II. The newest "Fifth Portrait" appeared on the Silver Britannia starting in 2016. The reverse of the Silver Britannia coin illustrates the Standing Britannia, which appears in a horse-drawn chariot. The Standing Britannia image was originally engraved by G.W. De Saulles and used on the florins of Edward VII from 1902 to 1910, and on the Gold Britannia coins for most of the issues following 1987.

The standard obverse of Queen Elizabeth II and the reverse of the Standing Britannia decorate all of the Silver Britannia bullion coins of 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006. However, special designs and variations have appeared on the 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007 issues of the Silver Britannia coins.

Silver American Liberty Medal Proofs

These 225th Anniversary Silver medals were struck using a 1 oz .999 fine Silver planchet, which is normally reserved for the American Silver Eagle program. Celebrating the Mint's 225th year anniversary the Silver medal is a counterpart to the 2017-W American Liberty Gold Proof $100 coin, bearing the same design of Lady Liberty.

The is the first Silver Medal of 2017, which was soon followed by a 2017 4-Medal Silver set which included: a reverse Proof medal from the Philadelphia Mint, a standard Proof from the San Francisco Mint, an Uncirculated, or Burnished, medal from the Denver Mint and a regular Proof issue from the Philadelphia Mint.

Part of the exciting new collection of U.S. Mint Silver Medals, the Commission on Fine Arts (CFA) and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) were both involved in selecting the new modern design of Lady Liberty. A new design was favored as noted in the comments of CCAC member Donald Scarinci, “Show us Liberty in a new and contemporary way, and let’s shed these Civil War symbols, these hundred-year-old symbols that really don’t have the emotional impact on contemporary Americans that they did 100 years ago.”

Following on those sentiments, Chair Mary Lanin expressed, "We have an opportunity, all of us, to make a difference in applying a new perspective and to broaden the view of Lady Liberty which up to this point has been cast in a European classical mold. There are three things that we should keep in consideration: We should be inclusive of the fact that there are many races that make up the United States. We should be mindful that each of us has our own ideal of what a woman or Liberty should look like, and we may need to broaden that. And we should be sensitive when we make our choice that the characteristics are matching those ideals.”

Shop these and many more products celebrating Women's History Month at APMEX. 

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