US Coins

Reagans unveiling of dollar First Spouse designs

Approved designs for the obverse of the 2016 Ronald Reagan Presidential dollar and obverse and reverse of the 2016 Nancy Reagan First Spouse gold $10 coin were officially released Feb. 6.

The designs were formally unveiled during ceremonies at the The Ronald Reagan Foundation & Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on what would have been President Reagan's 105th birthday. Soon after the unveiling ceremony, facsimile designs were put on display at the U.S. Mint's booth on the bourse of the Long Beach Coin, Currency, Stamp & Sports Collectible Show in Long Beach, Calif.

“The release of the Ronald Reagan Presidential $1 Coin and the Nancy Reagan First Spouse Coin will mark the end of the coin programs that have honored the contributions of our nation's presidents and the indelible work of our nation’s first ladies,” said Richard A. Peterson, United States Mint deputy director of Manufacturing and Quality.

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Additional participants at the event in Simi Valley, Calif., included Marlin Fitzwater, former press secretary to President Ronald Reagan; John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation; and Brig. Gen. Edward Banta, commanding general of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

The Reagans' coin designs unveiled reflected enlargements of the final design sketches that were approved by Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin on behalf of Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. Raskin approved the Ronald Reagan portrait on May 28, 2015, and the Nancy Reagan designs on Nov. 13, 2015. 

The Ronald Reagan portrait as it appears on the Proof 2016-S Ronald Reagan Presidential dollar was illustrated in images accompanying the U.S. Mint's announcement of the three-coin 2016 Presidential Proof set that goes on sale Feb. 16 at $17.95. The set also includes Proof Presidential dollars featuring the portraits of Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford.

The U.S. Mint subsequently removed the artwork illustrating the sets lens containing the Reagan coin, since the approved design was not intended to be released until the Feb. 6 ceremony in California. Coin World had already posted the Ronald Reagan coin art online on Jan. 20 when Mint officials made the decision to remove it from its own website until after the Feb. 6 ceremony.

The Ronald Reagan coin art also appeared on the cover of the Feb. 8, 2016, Weekly issue of Coin World.

The Nixon, Ford and Reagan Presidential dollars are the final issues under the Presidential $1 Coin Program, which began in February 2007 with the release of the George Washington Presidential dollars.

The First Spouse half-ounce .9999 fine gold $10 coins in 2016 for Patricia Nixon, Betty Ford and Nancy Reagan are the final issues in the First Spouse series.

The Proof and Uncirculated 2016-W Patricia Nixon First Spouse gold coins are scheduled to go on sale at noon Eastern Time Feb. 18. The Proof and Uncirculated 2016-W Betty Ford First Spouse gold coins are scheduled for release March 25.

The Proof and Uncirculated 2016-W Nancy Reagan gold coins are slated for release sometime in July. Mrs. Reagan's birthday is July 6.

Reagan designs

The forward facing portrait of President Ronald Reagan was designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Richard Masters and sculptured by United States Mint Medallic Sculptor Joseph F. Menna. Reagan's portrait will be paired with the common Statue of Liberty reverse that has appeared on all Presidential dollars in the series. The Presidential dollar reverse was designed and sculpted by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donald Everhart II.

The portrait of Mrs. Reagan as it will appear on the obverse of the Nancy Reagan gold coin was designed by AIP artist Benjamin Sowards and sculptured by Menna.

The reverse design for the Nancy Reagan gold coin was designed by AIP artist Joel Iskowitz and sculptured by Everhart. The design features Mrs. Reagan with her arms around two children during her “Just Say No” to drugs campaign.

In accordance with Public Law 109-145, the United States Mint has been minting and issuing dollar coins with obverse images bearing likenesses of each of the United States presidents in the order that each served, beginning with Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison in 2007.

The Mint has issued four Presidential dollars per year, each with a reverse design featuring a likeness of the Statue of Liberty. Additionally, the Mint has been minting and issuing Uncirculated and Proof 24-karat gold coins that are emblematic of the spouse of each president, with limited exceptions as described in the legislation, under the same release schedule as the presidents, beginning in 2007.

These 24-karat coins generally have featured an obverse image of the first spouse and reverse images emblematic of the particular first spouse’s life and work.  Bronze medals that bear the likeness of the bullion coins were issued for each of the First Spouse 24-karat coins.


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