U.S. Mint customers who have ordered one or more of the First
Spouse gold $10 coins issued from 2007 to 2011 are being individually
notified by mail of production problems that have delayed the striking
and release of all four 2012 First Spouse coins.
The Mint’s Office of Sales and Marketing is ensuring that
thousands of customers will receive letters informing them of
production delays for the 2012 First Spouse coins depicting Alice
Paul, Frances Cleveland (first and second terms) and Caroline Harrison.
“The problem with the First Spouse Gold Coins stems from design
issues and how the metal flows to fill the artwork,” according to a
Sept. 13 statement from Mint officials released by Mint spokesman
Michael White. “Because of our strong commitment to quality, we are
adamant about ensuring we have this issue resolved before we begin
actual production of the coins. We are confident we will be able to do so.”
The U.S. Mint’s deputy director, Richard A. Peterson, told
Coin World during an Aug. 7 interview that during trial
strikes at the Philadelphia Mint, metal flow problems were encountered
with the Paul and Cleveland (first term) coins as well as proper
Philadelphia Mint personnel are adjusting striking pressure on the
coinage presses to address the fill issues and avoid what Peterson
referred to as a “halo effect” around the devices.
Once the production problems have been cleared and final strikes
approved, the Proof and Uncirculated 2012 First Spouse coins will be
struck at the West Point Mint and bear the W Mint mark.
The letters being sent to Mint customers who have previously
ordered First Spouse gold coins outline the Mint’s efforts to resolve
the production difficulties.
“... As soon as we are certain the quality of these coins meets
the standards you have come to expect, we will announce on-sale dates
for each one,” according to the letter. “We apologize for the delay in
releasing these coins.
“You are a valued customer of the United States Mint, and we look
forward to continuing to serve you.”
U.S. Mint officials have not disclosed what specific steps have
been taken and the progress made to rectify the production problems
since Peterson’s Aug. 7 interview with Coin World. ■