2011 W First Spouse Lucretia Garfield 1/2 Ounce Gold Coin PR69 DCAM First Strike (FS) PCGS
This Gold First Spouse Coin was released December 1, 2011 and is the 21st Commemorative Coin, released in the fifth year of the series. It is struck from ½ ounce of .9999 24-karat gold. The obverse is Lucretia’s formal portrait, designed by Barbara Fox, and the reverse shows her with a brush and palette, pursuing one of her favorite pastimes of painting. It was designed and sculpted by Michael Gaudioso.
Lucretia was the wife of President James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States. She served as First Lady from January until September 19, 1881, when her husband succumbed to a fatal gunshot would inflicted by assassin Charles Guiteau.
Lucretia did not support her husband's bid for president at first because she didn't want their privacy disturbed. She eventually did and became a very visible and trusted advisor.
During her short time as First Lady, Lucretia, or "Crete" was known as a warm and charming hostess. Her purple inauguration gown was highlighted by the first display of electricity at such an event. She showed remarkable vision and common sense. She refused to continue the ban on alcoholic beverages in the White House, and she worked to begin restoring the history of the earlier residents of the White House. Although she strongly supported women's equality and rights, she refused to support the "dress reform" that called for less constrictive clothing for women, considering it a potential step in the breakdown of the traditional family. She welcomed all sorts of characters to open receptions at the White House, including the man who would eventually take her husband's life.
While her time as First Lady was cut short due to the assassination of her husband, it was also marred by her near-death battle with malaria contracted in May of 1881. She had nearly recovered on July 2, when she was summoned to her husbands side and cared for him until he finally died on September 19, 1881. She had saved all her husband's correspondence, and added a wing on their home in Ohio to house these documents. This collection eventually became the first Presidential Library. The country was so moved by her dedication to her dying husband that after he passed away there was an outpouring of $360,000 from the public. With the additional $5,000 compensation given to her by the government, she and her family were able to live comfortably the rest of their lives. A very compelling figure, Lucretia's ancestry is one of the most extensively researched of all the First Ladies.
||1/2 Troy oz
||.9999 Fine Gold
||0.5000 troy oz (15.554g) (min)
||1.043 inches (26.49mm)
||0.074 inches (1.88mm)
||874 as of December 2011
||1,478 as of December 2011