Betty Ford was a woman well before her time. Progressive and unapologetically candid about many social political issues, Mrs. Ford was a determined advocate for women’s rights and used her status to address the gender gap amongst many other issues that were considered to be taboo in the 1970’s. She also increased breast cancer awareness by openly discussing her own battle with the disease, contributing to an increase of women self-checking and leading to professional diagnosis across the nation, a phenomena later known as the “Betty Ford blip”.
Born in Chicago, IL in 1918, Elizabeth Ann Bloomer would grow to be a lover of dance and work as a fashion model in efforts to finance her study of the art in New York City before returning home to her mothers in Grand Rapids, MI. It was there that she would meet the future president, Gerald Ford and eventually marry on October 15, 1948. The pair would go on to serve one term in office together, which would only further propel Mrs. Ford’s ability to positively affect the nation.
In 1982, less than 5 years after facing and recovering from alcoholism, the former First Lady would open the Betty Ford Center, the facility in which many would seek and undergo treatment for various substance dependencies.
With such a long list of admirable qualities and contributions, it is no wonder as to why The US Mint has chosen to honor the late Mrs. Ford with a commemorative First Spouse Gold Coin.
The coins were released on March 25, 2016, in limited edition with only 10,000 available but with no household limit. Struck as ½ ounce, .9999 gold pieces, the prices are set at $815 for Proof and $795 for Uncirculated but will adjust accordingly with gold market values.
The obverse perfectly captures Betty Ford in a traditional portrait, designed by Barbara Fox. Above the inscription reads “BETTY FORD” while below “38TH 1974-1977”, marking the years in which she served as First Lady of the United States.
Chris Costello created the reverse design with intent to symbolize Betty’s “openness and advocacy regarding addiction, breast cancer awareness, and the rights of women”. Costello’s depiction as such is a young woman climbing a spiral staircase.
This is a fantastic investment to honor a woman who helped raise awareness and aid those in need.
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Images via The Mint News Blog