According to a recent article in Coin World, thousands of First Spouse Gold Coins have been melted. This represents a significant portion of the overall makeup and carries both current and future implications for the series.
The coins were melted by SilverTowne, a coin dealer and private mint. Between 5,000 and 7,000 Martha Washington and Louisa Adams coins were melted, including both proof and uncirculated versions. An unspecified number of Thomas Jefferson's Liberty coins were also melted. According to the president of SilverTowne, the coins were melted after his firm identified little or no retail demand.
The total mintages for these coins were 40,000 each. As such, the coins melted may represent approximately 10% of the overall makeup for at least two of the coins.
In the short term, the implication of the melt is that there is a lack of short term demand for the series. In my opinion there is plenty of demand for the coins, as evidenced by the dozens that sell each day on popular online auction venues for prices well above the melt value. Perhaps there was just not the kind of bulk demand needed to quickly sell thousands of the coins.
In the long term, there are implications for scarcity and demand of the current and future coins of the series. Since up to 10% of the vintage for two coins of the series has just been eliminated, mint figures will be misleading for future collectors. This may lead to reconsideration of prices based on scarcity rather than vintage figures alone.
Secondly, the melt signals that early speculative demand for the series has ended. Much of the early demand for the series may have been fueled by companies like SilverTowne seeking quick profits. With them and other similar speculators out of the picture, future issues may end up with significantly lower mintages. Sometimes there may be extremely low vintage coins like the $ 5 Gold Jackie Robinson Coin which will become worth far more than their weight in gold.
The First Spouse Gold Series is a marathon, not a sprint. It is currently scheduled to run for ten more years. While early excitation has dissolved, I am sure the future has many surprises left in store.