McKinley Birthplace Memorial gold dollar

The McKinley Birthplace Memorial gold dollar was a commemorative coin struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1916 and 1917, depicting the 25th President of the United States, William McKinley. The coin's obverse was designed by Charles E. Barber, Chief Engraver of the Mint, and the reverse by his assistant, George T. Morgan. As McKinley had appeared on a version of the 1903-dated Louisiana Purchase Exposition dollar, the 1916 release made him the first person to appear on two issues of U.S. coins.

McKinley Birthplace Memorial dollar[1]
United States
Value1 U.S. dollar
Mass1.7432 g
Diameter15 mm
Gold0.04837 troy oz
Years of minting1916–17
Mintage1916: 20,000 pieces plus 26 for the Assay Commission
1917: 10,000 plus 14 for the Assay Commission[2]
Mint marksNone. All pieces struck at Philadelphia Mint without mint mark.
DesignWilliam McKinley
DesignerCharles E. Barber
Design date1916
DesignNational McKinley Birthplace Memorial
DesignerGeorge T. Morgan
Design date1916

The coins were to be sold at a premium to finance the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial at Niles, Ohio, and were vended by the group constructing it. The issue was originally proposed as a silver dollar; this was changed when it was realized it would not be appropriate to honor a president who had supported the gold standard with such a piece. The coins were poorly promoted, and did not sell well. Despite an authorized mintage of 100,000, only about 30,000 were minted. Of these, 20,000 were sold, many of these at a reduced price to Texas coin dealer B. Max Mehl. The remaining 10,000 pieces were returned to the Mint for melting.

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