For the only Bachelor President the writer’s of the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 decided to have the 15th President represented by Lady Liberty; like the three previous widower Presidents: Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Martin Van Buren. Predecessor to one of the most famous President’s in United States History, James Buchanan was part of the conflict that set into motion the war that pitted brother against brother. A moral man by heart, President Buchanan wanted to avoid conflict at all costs, but his lax position when it came to certain policies only ignited the North and South’s passions even further. It is believed had he been in power at any other time in American History, he would have been a more capable President; but the country was far too divided, and war loomed over the horizon no matter what the Commander in Chief desired.
Presidential $1 Coin Act and the First Spouse Series
Stated in the provisions of the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 lays the start of the First Spouse Gold Coin program and the reasoning behind both series: “Many people cannot name all of the Presidents, and fewer can name the spouses, nor can many people accurately place each President in the proper time period of American history. First Spouses have not generally been recognized on American coinage.” Wanting to bring back coinage to a more aesthetic realm, and to provide a valuable tool for education, the Presidential $1 Coins were released in tandem with First Spouse Gold Coins in chronological order. For President’s like James Buchanan who served their tenure without a First Lady, “the image on the obverse of the bullion coin corresponding to the $1 coin relating to such President shall be an image emblematic of the concept of `Liberty’.”
The Key is in the Design
As seen in previous designs for the Presidential Liberties, or the Bachelor Set, in the First Spouse Gold Coin program, President Buchanan’s representation is the Liberty design minted during his time in office. Specifically, the Liberty Head featured on the Quarter-Eagle which was issued between 1840 through 1907. Designed by Christian Gobrecht, the Liberty Head design is considered one of the most popular of all the models. Facing left, Liberty is featured from the shoulders up, with her bountiful hair pulled up and tied with a beaded strap. A cornet sits atop her head with the classic inscription of “Liberty.” On the Reverse, the young President is depicted working as bookkeeper in his family’s small country store.
Fun Fact: While believing the institution of slavery to be morally wrong, James Buchanan ultimately thought the practice to be sanctioned by the Constitution. Born in Pennsylvania, Buchanan said of his fellows: “Although in Pennsylvania we are all opposed to slavery in the abstract, we can never violate the constitutional compact we have with our sister states.” His stance, being in the middle ground, did no good for his image in both the North, and the South. But there are at least two documented instances of Buchanan‘s personal take on the matter of slavery: He personally bought and freed slaves. Once for his sister’s newly acquired slaves by marriage, and then again while in Washington; all were taken to his native Pennsylvania and freed.
A Valuable Addition
Released on September 2, 2010, The James Buchanan’s Liberty First Spouse Gold Coin has seen appreciation in value since it was issued. Priced at $766 for the Uncirculated version, and $799 for the Proof; the Buchanan’s Liberty First Spouse Gold Coin has seen a steady increase in value rising to $1,100 for the Uncirculated, and $1,150 for the Proof [The Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins 2014, 67th ed.]. For graded versions, for example by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, the highest graded uncirculated coin (MS70) is listed at $1,300, and for the highest grade proof (PF70) the priced listed is $1,500 (as of 1/8/2015).
The fourth and final Gold Coin of the Presidential Liberties, or Bachelor Set, Buchanan’s Liberty First Spouse Gold Coin is a must have for collector’s and investor’s. Whether alone, part of the First Spouse program, or as the final piece to the Liberty set: the Buchanan’s Liberty Gold Coin is a wonderful representation of history, and shows promise as an investment. If you’d like to learn more, call the experts at Global Monetary Reserve at 877-795-9585 today!