Most collectors already know about the Presidential Dollars program that recently concluded with the coin for Ronald Reagan on July 1, 2016. That program honored all deceased Presidents, starting with George Washington.
However, one of the U.S. Mint’s best-kept secrets over the past few years has been the matching First Spouse commemorative gold coin series. At about the same time as the release of each new Presidential Dollar, the U.S. Mint also produced a $10 gold coin (struck with half an ounce of 99.99% gold) and a bronze medal featuring the respective First Lady. Both the gold coin and bronze medal had identical designs.
The obverse of each coin and matching medal included a portrait of the First Lady. Unlike the Presidential Dollars that all had the same reverse design of the Statue of Liberty, the reverse of each First Spouse gold coin was a unique design that highlighted an aspect of the First Lady’s tenure in the White House.
Nancy Reagan $10 Gold Coin brings the First Spouse series to an end.
On July 1, 2016 – to coincide with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Dollar – the U.S. Mint released the Nancy Reagan $10 gold coin and bronze medal. Hollywood actress Nancy Davis married actor Ronald Reagan in 1952; she appeared under her maiden name in 11 films between 1949 and 1962. The only film in which Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis starred together was Hellcats of the Navy in 1957.
During her time as First Lady of California from 1967 to 1975, Nancy adopted several charitable causes, including veterans, the elderly, and handicapped children. She continued to support these causes while her husband was President from 1981 to 1989, and she also fought against drug and alcohol abuse among the nation’s youth.
In the years following the Presidency, Nancy was extremely protective of her husband, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and who died in 2004. Nancy died on March 6, 2016, less than four months before the release of her $10 gold coin and bronze medal. Had she lived until July 1, she would have been one of the few people who were alive at the time of the release of a legal tender U.S. coin bearing their image.
The obverse of the Nancy Reagan coin is a portrait showing Nancy during her time as First Lady. The reverse shows Nancy with two children to illustrate her “Just Say No” campaign to help children stay away from drugs and alcohol.
The Nancy Reagan $10 gold coin was issued in both brilliant uncirculated and proof editions, but the mintage was limited to only 15,000 in total between the two editions. With so few coins available, only a tiny number of collectors can ever hope to own one.