US Coins

Reagan coin and medal set, last in series, issued

The 2016 Ronald Reagan Presidential $1 Coin & First Spouse Medal Set released July 5 by the U.S. Mint is the last such set to be issued in the series.

The set contains an Uncirculated Mint set quality 2016-P Ronald Reagan Presidential $1 coin packaged with a 1.3125-inch bronze Nancy Reagan First Spouse medal bearing the same designs as the First Spouse gold $10 coin except without coin inscriptions.

Each set is offered at $9.95.

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The U.S. Mint recorded sales of 4,496 of the sets on the first day the sets became available.

The obverse portrait of President Reagan on the dollar coin was designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Richard Masters and sculptured by U.S. Mint Medallic Sculptor Joseph F. Menna. The common Statue of Liberty reverse for the Presidential dollar series, introduced in 2007, was designed and engraved by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donald Everhart II.

AIP artist Benjamin Sowards designed the Nancy Reagan obverse portrait, which was sculptured by Menna.

AIP artist Joel Iskowitz designed the reverses for the Nancy Reagan First Spouse coin and medal that were then sculptured by Everhart.

Why are these series stopping with the Reagans?

It's all in the text of Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, Public Law 109-145, which is the law that regulates the Presidential $1 coin series.

The enabling act, Sec. 102, 2(E), reads: " LIMITATION IN SERIES TO DECEASED PRESIDENTS.— No coin issued under this subsection may bear the image of a living former or current President, or of any deceased former President during the 2-year period following the date of the death of that President."

Since President Jimmy Carter is alive, many thought the program would end with the Gerald Ford dollar. It would have to skip over the living Carter to honor Reagan, who died in 2004.

Subsection 8 of the law provides more clarity, and justification for striking the Reagan coins: "TERMINATION OF PROGRAM.—The issuance of coins under this subsection shall terminate when each President has been so honored, subject to paragraph (2)(E), and may not be resumed except by an Act of Congress."

So, in short, once all presidents who have been deceased for at least two years have been honored, the program is over and can't be restarted without Congressional action.

Collectors were unsure of the Reagan's coin status until its 2016 release was confirmed in 2015.

As for the First Spouse series, those $10 coins have been issued as an adjunct to the Presidential $1 series. That means that as the latter goes, so goes the former.

Future of the $1 coin

Even though the coins of the Presidential $1 series will end with Reagan, the $1 coin is not going away altogether.

Subsection 9 explains:

"REVERSION TO PRECEDING DESIGN.—Upon the termination of the issuance of coins under this subsection, the design of all $1 coins shall revert to the so-called ‘Sacagawea-design’ $1 coins."

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