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Collect the First Spouse $10 coins
Collect the First Spouse $10 coins
If you're a coin collector, you're likely aware that the 2013 batch of Presidential $1 coins featured William McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson. If you're not, you may have noticed gold presidential coins as change from some vending machines.
Following soon after are the less popular but more valuable First Spouse coins. Released in order to accompany the presidents, Ida McKinley, Edith Roosevelt, Helen Taft, Ellen Wilson and Edith Wilson adorn the faces of these $10 collectable coins.
These pure gold, 1/2-ounce coins are legal tender at $10, but collectors may be looking at the more than $1,300 per ounce price of gold, Fox News pointed out. But despite the price of gold, the value of these coins is the story behind them, the history and the collection of the set. Each coin is unique not just with the face on the front, but the scene on the tails side. Each rear represents the life of the first spouse.
As a young woman, Ida worked for her father at a bank, where she eventually met her future husband and future president, William McKinley. The two married in 1871 and he was inaugurated in 1897. As a first lady, she hosted formal receptions despite her poor health. Ida suffered from epilepsy and phlebitis and wasn't in the public eye often. As a hobby she crocheted slippers that were then auctioned off for charity. This is commemorated on the back of the coin.
The Norwich, Conn., native grew up in New York City. She met Teddy Roosevelt as a child through playing at his grandparents' house. She married him after his previous wife had died and he had had a child. After President McKinley's assassination, the Roosevelts moved into the White House in 1901. During her eight-year tenure as first lady, Roosevelt oversaw massive restorations and decorations of the West Wing to create improved public areas. Her renovation is represented on the tails side of the coin with a compass and column.
Having visited the White House under President and first lady Hayes, Helen was excited to take over when her husband was elected president in 1908. She was the first person to plant cherry trees around the tidal basin in Washington, D.C., which were a gift from the mayor of Tokyo, which is pictured on the rear of her coin. Helen Taft was able to remain active in D.C. because after her husband's presidency, he served on the Supreme Court.
The Georgia native and daughter of a minister met her future husband when she was an infant. Twenty-three years later, they met again and started dating while he was a lawyer in Atlanta. They married and he worked as the governor of New Jersey. Ellen was a great artist, who sketched and painted, and installed a studio for herself in the White House. She helped create the Whitehouse's Rose Garden, which is represented on her coin, before she died while her husband was in office in 1914.
A widow, Edith met President Wilson in 1915, after his wife's death. After their marriage, in 1919, Edith Wilson played a big role in assisting the president with his daily tasks. She decided what he read and who he saw, although claimed to have never made any decisions. People did, however, call her the first woman president because of her involvement. Her assistance to the president is depicted on the back of the coin. She lived until 1961, when she was 89 years old.