A leading figure in the Women’s Suffrage movement, Alice Paul is featured on the 22nd First Spouse Gold Coin. Though not a First Lady, the legislation which created the series mandated the presence of Paul in the series:
“Design in case of no first spouse: In the case of any President who served without a spouse, the image on the obverse of the bullion coin corresponding to the $1 coin relation to such President shall be an image emblematic of the concept of ‘Liberty.’ As represented in the case of President Chester Alan Arthur, by a design incorporating the name and likeness of Alice Paul, a leading strategist in the suffrage movement, who was instrumental in gaining women the right to vote upon the adoption of the 19th amendment and thus the ability to participate in the election of future Presidents, and who was born on January 11, 1885, during the term of President Arthur.” –Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, Public Law 109- 145
Each First Spouse Gold Coin is also specified to be a $10 denomination, and contain one-half ounce of 24-karat (.9999) Fine Gold. Alice Paul is the only non-spouse to be featured in the series, for the previous President’s who were either widows, or bachelors, the image that represent them in the First Spouse Series is the Liberty design featured on popular coinage during their time in office.
History of Alice Paul
Born to a Quaker family in Moorestown, New Jersey, she grew up with the ideology and tradition of public service. With advanced views for the time, Quakers recognized that women were separate people from men. Paul beginnings in the Women’s Suffrage movement were humble, starting when she was just a girl attending meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association with her mother. After graduating top of her class, Paul went on to attend Swarthmore College where she earned a bachelor’s in Biology, and began work as a social worker. She found that social work didn’t have that much of an impact and after receiving her Master’s in sociology, she went to England where she was exposed the militant form of the Suffrage movement.
Returning from England with a reputation as a more extreme political fighter, she used her image to ignite the movement in the States. While working on her dissertation for her doctorate, Paul changed the views of NAWSA’s from state legislation, to a congressional amendment; something that didn’t seem possible due to the opposition faced from the South and Northeast. After the famous women’s suffrage parade in 1913, the formation of the National Woman’s Party, her imprisonment and hunger strike in 1917; women earned the right to vote in 1920 with the passing of the 19th Amendment. She continued to fight for equality between the sexes until her death in 1974.
A Design to Honor a Pioneer
It is only fitting that a woman who dedicated herself to the fight for equality be featured in place of ‘Liberty,’ in the First Spouse Gold Coin Series. Shown on the Obverse is a sobering portrait of the Suffragist, as she gazes directly at the viewer. Designed by Susan Gamble, AIP Master Designer, and sculpted by Mint artist Phebe Hemphill, the design is beautifully detailed, yet simple: not at all detracting from the importance of her legacy. On the Reverse, Hemphill again lent her artistic talents in not only the sculpting, but also the design: showing Paul walking proudly in the Women’s Suffrage Parade, holding an American flag. She is seen wearing a banner which is inscribed with “Votes for Women.”
Fun Fact: Continuing to fight for the civil rights of women, Paul worked with Howard W. Smith, a powerful Virginia Democrat who chaired the House Rules Committee. From 1945 until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Paul and Smith fought to include ‘sex’ as protected against discrimination of any kind. Though Smith believed in Paul’s cause, having been close to the National Women’s Party for decades, there was one personal discrepancy he had to overlook in order to back the Act completely—he did not believe in equal rights for African Americans. Legislators couldn’t believe Smith was sincere in his support for woman’s rights, and were convinced that he introduced the amendment in order to see the act fail.
Issued by the United States Mint on October 11, 2012, the Alice Paul First Spouse Gold Coin was initially priced at $1,054.00 for the Proof version of the coin, and $1,041 for the Uncirculated, but due to the Mint’s new pricing policy which bases the price of gold and other precious metal coins on market values, the Alice Paul Gold Coin fell to as low as $840.00 for Proofs, and $820.00 for Uncirculated versions. Sales of the coin ended with a mintage of 3,502 for the Proof, and 2,486 for the Uncirculated versions. Today the value of a graded Alice Paul First Spouse Gold Coin stands at $1,100.00 for the highest rated Proof (PF70) and $1,350.00 for the highest rated Uncirculated coin (MS70). Time can only tell how the value will change, but with such a unique place in the First Spouse series (only non-First Lady) it can be said that the change over time will only be positive.
A truly remarkable woman, Alice Paul’s visage and legacy are represented wonderfully in the 22ndcoin in the First Spouse Gold Coin program. History shines through the coin, and not just due to its Gold content, and encompasses a chapter in America’s past that is often forgotten in the modern era. If you’d like to grab a piece of history while making an valuable investment in your future, contact Global Monetary Reserve Today at 877-795-9585, and see how our personal investment advisors can help you. Our E-commerce site is also available for easy at home browsing, and purchasing: to take a look just Click Here.