Coin Specifications

Category: Gold Commemoratives (1903-1926)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 17,500
Catalog: KM-120
Obverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Reverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 1.6720g
AGW: 0.0484oz
Melt Value: $63.75 (7/26/2016)
Diameter: 15mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1903 MCKINLEY LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS obverse 1903 MCKINLEY LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

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: 12/31/2014

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

1903 MCKINLEY LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - 425 470 500 530 550 600 635 655 680 800 1075 1700 2100 5000 20000 - -
$ 490 520 540 570 625 645 665 700 900 1250 1900 2500 7450 -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2115
Low Grade: 50
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 68


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
5/30/2005 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg May 30 - June 16, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 31/Lot# 1196 $1,782.50
7/25/2007 PCGS MS 69   Teletrade Auction 2399, 2399/Lot# 1892 $257.60
12/15/2013 PCGS MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 782, 791/Lot# 358 $800.00
2/3/2014 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2014 February 3 - 5 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(4), 1202/Lot# 5515 $5,287.50
10/12/2014 NGC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/12/2014, 190/Lot# 168453 $350.00
7/9/2015 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2015 July 9 - 12 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Summer FUN Session(3), 1222/Lot# 4802 $1,176.18
7/12/2015 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131529/Lot# 26032 $376.00
8/13/2015 PCGS   Stack's Bowers 2015 Chicago ANA, 6104/Lot# 1440 $4,112.50


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1903 MCKINLEY LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base94697810101044107811131148118512091233124813031315136914831790221926003817682073149446
95798910211055109011251160119312171238126613071333140715851933234630064818698580250
0000001160119312171238126613071333140715851933234630064818698500
0000001173120112251243128513111351144516882076247334115819714900
1903 MCKINLEY LOUISIANA PURCHASE G$1 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1005103910721108114411791217125512801305132113791391144715661885233127263984707775839772
1016105010841120115611921230126312881310134013831410148716722034246331455015724683130
0000001230126312881310134013831410148716722034246331455015724600
0000001242127212971316136013871428152617792182259435656046741400
Competitive Registry Sets
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 6820
Owner: RDN
 
Grade: MS 63 PL
Points: 1566
Owner: Mozin
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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