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: $91.28 (9/30/2020)
Diameter: 15mm
Edge: Reeded
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1903 MCKINLEY LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS obverse 1903 MCKINLEY 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: 4/24/2020

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

1903 MCKINLEY G$1 LOUISIANA PURCHASE MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - 390 425 450 485 510 530 550 565 575 600 725 925 1350 2700 20000 - -
$ 435 480 500 525 535 555 570 585 700 900 1150 1800 6750 -
1903 MCKINLEY G$1 LOUISIANA PURCHASE MS PL
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - 1250 - 2750 3450 - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2149
Low Grade: 50
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 68

The chart showing 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: 9/29/2020 1903 MCKINLEY G$1 LOUISIANA PURCHASE MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-------23207610762752875203953411216--2132
-------------11---1---3
--------------1-2139---25
------------------1---1
Total-------23207610762762895203973541326--2161
 -------0%0%1%4%0%4%13%13%24%18%16%6%0%-- 
1903 MCKINLEY G$1 LOUISIANA PURCHASE MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base------------164222----17
-----------------------
-------------1--------1
-----------------------
Total------------174222----18
 ------------6%39%22%11%11%11%---- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1903 MCKINLEY G$1 LOUISIANA PURCHASE MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1005103910721108114411791217125512801305132113791391144715661885233127263984707775839772
1016105010841120115611921230126312881310134013831410148716722034246331455015724683130
0000001230126312881310134013831410148716722034246331455015724600
0000001242127212971316136013871428152617792182259435656046741400
1903 MCKINLEY G$1 LOUISIANA PURCHASE MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base94697810101044107811131148118512091233124813031315136914831790221926003817682073149446
95798910211055109011251160119312171238126613071333140715851933234630064818698580250
0000001160119312171238126613071333140715851933234630064818698500
0000001173120112251243128513111351144516882076247334115819714900
Competitive Registry Sets
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 6820
Owner: RDN
 
Grade: MS 67
Points: 3817
Owner: Beijim
 
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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.