Coin Specifications

Category: Gold Commemoratives (1903-1926)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 17,500
Obverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Reverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 1.6720g
AGW: 0.0484oz
Melt Value: $72.27 (10/23/2019)
Diameter: 15mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

1903 JEFFERSON LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS obverse 1903 JEFFERSON LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The Louisiana Purchase was one of the biggest events in American history. It effectively doubled the size of the country overnight. Additionally, the land that was acquired included some of the richest farmland in the country. To give an idea of the scope of the land area obtained, it contained all or part of the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming, In celebration of the centennial of this momentous event, a huge celebration was planned for 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri. Congress appropriated five million dollars for the Exposition, and also authorized the minting of up to 250,000 commemorative gold dollars.

The exact design of the coin was left open-ended, and it was eventually decided that there would be two different obverse designs which would share a common reverse. The obvious first choice for the obverse was Thomas Jefferson, who was President in 1803 and was responsible for the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France. The choice for the second coin, however, was not as obvious. It was logical that Theodore Roosevelt, who was the President at the time of the exposition would be on the second obverse, but that was not to be. Instead, President McKinley was chosen as he actually signed the original appropriations bill for the exposition just six months before his assassination.

U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber modeled both obverses and the shared reverse of the coins. On both the Jefferson and Roosevelt varieties, the portrait is encircled at the periphery by the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The reverse of the coins featured a safe and uninspired layout, with ONE DOLLAR 1803-1903 in the center, surrounded by LOUISIANA PURCHASE EXPOSITION ST. LOUIS at the edge. The only decorative device on the reverse is a single olive branch that separates the denomination from the centennial years. Presumably it symbolizes the peaceful means by which the 828,000 square mile territory was acquired.

The entire 250,000 mintage authorized by Congress was minted from December 1902 through January 1903. When the Exposition finally opened on April 30th of that year, the coins were offered by numismatic promoter Farran Zerbe for $3 each. Unfortunately sales fell very flat, and most coins remained unsold. In fact, the coins were readily available for many years after the exposition for less than issue price. In 1914, the remaining 215,000 coins were melted, leaving a net mintage of 35,000 total between the two types. Detailed records were not kept on sales of each type, so it is generally accepted that the numbers were about even, with 17,500 for each design.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/18/2019

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1903 JEFFERSON LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - 400 475 510 535 560 600 645 670 700 750 975 1080 1600 2850 18250 - -
$ 500 525 550 570 610 655 690 740 820 1050 1300 1900 7200 -
1903 JEFFERSON LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS Prooflike
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - 1050 1690 2800 - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2246
Low Grade: 45
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 68

The chart showing 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series, 67 series, 68 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 10/22/2019 1903 JEFFERSON LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base------33727111555208285587474366913--2225
---------------15921--18
---------------66104---26
-----------------------
Total------33727111555208285594485385974--2269
 ------0 %0 %0 %1 %5 %0 %2 %9 %13 %26 %21 %17 %4 %0 %-- 
1903 JEFFERSON LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----------3--35423----20
-----------------------
---------------1------1
-----------------------
Total----------3--35523----21
 ----------14 %--14 %24 %24 %10 %14 %---- 
1903 JEFFERSON LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS Deep Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-------------1--------1
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total-------------1--------1
 -------------100 %-------- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
4/24/1996 PCGS MS 62   Teletrade Auction 0835, 835/Lot# 895 $474.75
5/31/2004 NGC MS 62   Goldberg May 31 - June 2, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 25/Lot# 2837 $978.00
6/11/2007 NGC MS 61   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 149, 154/Lot# 2626 $632.50
1/5/2011 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2011 January Tampa FUN Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(7), 1151/Lot# 13334 $322.00
2/28/2012 PCGS MS 66   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 7022 $1,840.00
12/16/2012 PCGS MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/16/2012, 53/Lot# 87445 $770.00
2/27/2014 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2014 February 27 - 28 & March 2 Mid-Winter ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Atlanta Session(5), 1203/Lot# 8723 $1,645.00
9/4/2014 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2014 September 4 - 6 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(4), 1209/Lot# 8974 $440.63


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1903 G$1 MS JEFFERSON LOUISIANA PURCHASE
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base90193196499610281103113811521186121912841327135714381583194924393103455271202120037483
911942975100710531115114311631197124112981337138414861705211226603586540811813266280
00000011431163119712411298133713841486170521122660358654081181300
00000011471175120812621313134714111535182722762882406962641650700
Competitive Registry Sets
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 7120
Owner: Stephen L. Schechter Collection
 
Grade: MS 66
Points: 3103
Owner: *00001AAA Coins
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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