Coin Specifications

Category: Gold Commemoratives (1903-1926)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 10,000
Catalog: KM-144
Obverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Reverse Designer: George T. Morgan
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 1.6720g
AGW: 0.0484oz
Melt Value: $51.85 (11/26/2015)
Diameter: 15mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1916 MCKINLEY G$1 MS obverse 1916 MCKINLEY G$1 MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The McKinley gold dollars of 1916 and 1917 were coined at the request the National McKinley Birthplace memorial Association nearly fifteen years after McKinley’s death at the hands of an assassin. Proceeds from the sale of the coins were to be used to construct a memorial in his home town of Niles, Ohio. While the original request from the association was for commemorative silver dollars, McKinley’s pro-gold stance in office led Congress to the change the bill to call for gold dollar coins instead. A bill passed on February 23rd, 1916 authorized the mintage of up to 100,000 coins.

Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber was selected to design the reverse, and his assistant George T. Morgan was charged with designing the reverse. Barber was nearing the end of his life, and his obverse was not well received. The portrait of McKinley didn’t particularly look like the former president, which is obviously an issue. Around the top of the periphery are UNITED · STATES · OF · AMERICA, and MCKINLEY · DOLLAR is seen below.

Morgan’s reverse was even less well-received. It features a facing view of the McKinley Birthplace Memorial structure. Not only is it architecturally inaccurate, but it’s also crudely rendered. Around the periphery of the coin is MCKINLEY BIRTHPLACE MEMORIAL. NILES OHIO is above the memorial, divided by a flag pole, and the date, either 1916 or 1917, is below. When combined with the fact that these coins are often seen weakly struck, the whole makes for an aesthetically poor creation.

There were 20,000 McKinley gold dollars struck in 1916 and a further 10,000 dated 1917 struck in February of the following year. Some uncertainty exists respecting the number of each date that was actually sold as well as the number melted. However, according to B. Max Mehl, a famous dealer of the time who handled many thousands of the coins, 5,000 of both issues were melted, leaving a net mintage of 15,000 for the 1916 issue and only 5,000 for the 1917.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 12/31/2014

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Base $ - - - 350 440 460 485 510 530 555 585 675 900 1575 1950 4250 21000 - -
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Total Graded: 2554
Low Grade: 40
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
12/6/2015 MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(4), 1227/Lot# 8429
12/6/2015 MS 63  Prooflike Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(2), 1227/Lot# 4051

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
7/24/1996 NGC MS 63   Teletrade Auction 0861, 861/Lot# 1953 $527.50
11/17/1999 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 1237, 1237/Lot# 2039 $633.00
5/5/2000 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2000 Central States Sale #226, 226/Lot# 7523 $373.75
6/27/2005 NGC MS 61   David Lawrence Rare Coins Auction 43: The Cook Family Collection, 47/Lot# 1611 $523.25
4/27/2011 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2011 April Rosemont CSNS Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(7), 1154/Lot# 12761 $690.00
9/13/2011 NGC MS 64   Stack's Bowers The September 2011 Philadelphia Americana Sale, 113/Lot# 5762 $661.25
11/13/2011 PCGS MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 11/13/2011, 144/Lot# 21807 $797.50
1/3/2012 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2012 January 4-8 US Coins & Platinum Night FUN Signature Auction- Orlando Session(10), 1166/Lot# 13474 $431.25
1/26/2014 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg January 26-28, 2014 January Pre-Long Beach Sale 17.5% BP, 78/Lot# 2071 $1,445.25

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1916 MCKINLEY G$1 MS
Competitive Registry Sets
Gold Commemoratives 1903-1926 85
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 6080
Owner: RDN
Grade: MS 66
Points: 3264
Owner: Alex J. Llorente
View the Registry Image Gallery

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9/1/2004  — A complete set of United States gold commemorative coins has been graded and encapsulated by NGC. It includes several finest certified pieces.
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