This month’s specimen was minted to raise funds to memorialize President William McKinley, 15 years after his death.
The death of President William McKinley 15 years earlier prompted the minting of this coin to raise funds for a memorial at his birthplace of Niles, Ohio. Chief Engraver Charles Barber had already done a portrait of McKinley for the Louisiana Purchase Gold Dollar in 1903, but he prepared an entirely different bust for this issue.
Collectors were by this time used to commemorative gold dollars, and the regular purchasers no doubt acquired at least one example of the two dates issued. This 1916 specimen is typical in that its strike is excellent and its fields are faintly prooflike. A charming gem, its surfaces are essentially free of marks. A fine veil of misty toning is just barely discernible, adding to this coin’s antique appeal.
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