The U.S. Mint will soon be issuing its first coin series (half-ounce gold coins worth more than $300 each) honoring women. And of all the influential women in American history, the group to be commemorated have little more in common than having been married to a U.S. president.
As if the “first lady” appellation weren’t ridiculous enough, a recent AP story amps up the ug factor: “Not to be outdone by their husbands, the first ladies are getting their chance to shine on the nation’s coins.”
We’ve had single-issue coins featuring women twice before, and both bombed. The American public quickly proved incapable of dealing with the Susan B. Anthony coins issued in ’79. Countless people lost 75 cents a pop each time one got mistaken for a quarter. At least the Mint had the sense to make the Sacagawea coin a unique size and color, because Americans apparently don’t read before they pay.
The Mint is reportedly hoping the First Lady series will provide some history lessons. I can hardly wait to see what they have to say about our girl Eleanor.
I suppose chances are slim that the Hilary coin will be released during her own presidency.
The First Lady series won’t be issued till spring but the designs are being unveiled Tuesday at the National First Ladies’ Library in Canton, Ohio.