On March 25, 2016, the United States Mint issued the 2016 Betty Ford First Spouse 1/2 oz $10 Gold Coin. The coin is struck in .9999 gold and has a maximum authorized mintage of 10,000 across all product options. The coin was struck at the West Point Mint and carries the “W” mintmark. It comes in two finishes: Proof and Uncirculated.
The Betty Ford $10 Gold Coin is the second gold coin in the U.S. Mint’s First Spouse Gold Coin Program issued in 2016 and the 38th gold coin issued in the series. Consequently, it is the next-to-last coin in the program. First Spouse gold coins are issued in concert with the base-metal golden Presidential dollar series.
The obverse, designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) artist Barbara Fox, features an approximately three-quarters profile portrait of first spouse Betty Ford, wife of Gerald R. Ford, who served as the 38th president of the United States from 1974 to 1977. She is smiling and looking to the left.
Her name BETTY FORD is inscribed above her head, while 38th 1974-1977 is inscribed below her portrait’s truncation. IN GOD WE TRUST is located on the left, and LIBERTY, the year 2016 and the West Point mint mark “W” are located on the right. Barbara Fox’s initials are found at the lower-left corner of Ford’s portrait (right above “38th”), while sculptor-engraver Michael Gaudioso’s initials are found on the opposite side.
Gaudioso sculpted Fox’s design and adapted it for coining.
According to the Mint, the reverse represents Ford’s “openness and advocacy regarding addiction, breast cancer awareness and the rights of women”. It features a young woman climbing a spiral staircase, the central point around which it rotates being focused upon the woman’s head and face. Overall an interestingly abstract motif.
The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA encircles the top of the design, while the inscriptions E PLURIBUS UNUM (“Out of many, one”), $10, 1/2 OZ., and .9999 FINE GOLD encircle the bottom. Except for the space between “OZ.” and “.9999”, the inscriptions are separated by rhombic dots.
AIP artist Chris Costello designed the reverse; his initials “CTC” are found on the bottom left side of the coin near the young woman’s elbow. Sculptor-engraver Renata Gordon engraved the design; her initials are found slightly in front of the woman’s foot on the bottom right side.
Like all of the coins in the 10-year First Spouse 1/2 oz Gold Coin series, the Betty Ford Gold Coin has a reeded edge.
Before joining the United States Mint, engraver Barbara Fox worked as a commercial artist (View Designer’s Profile).
Sculptor-engraver Michael Gaudioso has designed more than one dozen United States coins and medals (View Designer’s Profile).
Chris Costello is another Artistic Infusion Program artist and designer currently working with the U.S. Mint.
Renata Gordon is part of the United States Mint’s sculpting-engraving department, working on several designs for the First Spouse and America the Beautiful Quarters programs (View Designer’s Profile).
|Year Of Issue:||2016|
|OBV Designer||Barbara Fox | Michael Gaudioso|
|REV Designer||Chris Costello | Renata Gordon|