Steve Roach

The Art of Collecting

Steve Roach

Steve Roach, Coin World’s editor-at-large, has been deeply involved with numismatics for more than 20 years, starting as a young coin collector in Michigan. Two years spent as a coin grader, nearly three years at a major coin wholesaler and a stint as a paintings specialist at an international auction house have given Steve a rich understanding of the hobby, its market and the unique personalities and exceptional objects that make collecting meaningful. He joined Coin World in 2006 as a columnist, and has served as associate editor and editor-in-chief. He received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Michigan, a juris doctorate from the Ohio State University and is a Certified Member of the International Society of Appraisers.

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Could Jackie breathe life into the First Spouse gold $10 coin series?

As the First Spouse gold $10 coin series winds down, 2015 will see the release of four coins including one for Jacqueline Kennedy.

Could the launch of “Jackie O’s” coin breathe some life into this series that is in desperate need of attention? 

The series has had some unfortunate twists of circumstance that have hurt its popularity with collectors. The Mint has been inconsistent with its release dates, often releasing all four (or five) coins in the final months of the year.  Add to that a roaring precious metal market that saw gold rise from $660 an ounce in the summer of 2007 to more than $1,800 an ounce in the summer of 2011, meaning many collectors were priced out of the program. 

With few collectors building sets, mintages have dropped. The 2007-W Thomas Jefferson’s Liberty coin saw nearly 40,000 pieces produced across both Proof and Uncirculated formats. Total sales across both formats of 4,000 to 5,000 are likely for each of the five 2013 First Spouse coins. 

As gold settles down to more reasonable price levels, and the First Spouse designs celebrate first ladies who many coin buyers remember, the program could get a nice bump. 

The set has a lot going for it, including handsome designs, with often very interesting reverse designs emblematic of themes of the corresponding first lady’s life, low mintages and accessible entry points with the higher-mintage pieces from the first few years of the program. 

It is a series that is worth a second look.

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1 comment
It might produce a bump but this series was doomed from the beginning. Hard to sell $800 coins with pictures of mostly obscure people. More recent First Ladies may do better. If Bill Clinton becomes the first First Dude, that might sell.