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An Act of Congress dated April 13, 1904 called for an exposition to honor Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's 1803-1806 exploration of the U.S. Northwest. Although the Philadelphia Mint produced 25,028 examples in 1904 and a further 35,041 coins in 1905, a number of examples from each year were subsequently melted as unsold. The net mintages of these two issues are 10,025 and 10,041 pieces, respectively. The Lewis and Clark Exposition, held in Portland, Oregon in 1905, is sometimes confused with the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, which took place the year before in St. Louis. What both events have in common is that their gold commemorative issues were sold on the fair grounds by Farran Zerbe. Zerbe offered the Lewis and Clark pieces for $2 each, a reduction from the $3 price for the 1903 Louisiana Purchase issues. Zerbe also took his formidable coin collection to the Portland exposition, where it was displayed in the Manufacturers Building. He was not the first to offer the Lewis and Clark pieces, however, since Portland dealer D.M. Averill somehow obtained a quantity and advertised them for sale in the April 1905 Numismatist, two months prior to the opening of the exposition.
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