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If You Have to Think, You Won't Buy
August 21, 2008

One week from today the Mint will put the next First Spouse gold coins on the market. Because Andrew Jackson, our seventh President, was a widower at the time, his First Spouse gold coin will feature a Capped Bust design that was used on coinage during his term of office, 1829-1837.

Will this classic design help sales? The Mint needs a boost from somewhere. Each new issue is being purchased by fewer and fewer collectors.

The Louisa Adams total is just about 7,000 coins. This number includes both the proofs and the uncirculateds.

When the first First Spouse coin was offered for Martha Washington, the 40,000 maximum was sold out the same day. The same held true for Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

Since Dolley Madison went on the market late last year, the pace of sales and the number of coins sold have declined. Dolley is only about three-quarters sold. Elizabeth Monroe is hardly more than Louisa Adams at just over one-quarter sold.

Will we ever have another sellout? That is a good question, but we will have to wait for approximately 33 more issues over the next eight or so years to find out.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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