1903 G$1 LA Purchase, Jefferson MS63 Certification #30197520, PCGS #7443

Expert Comments

Jaime Hernandez

In the early 1800's Thomas Jefferson sent U.S. representatives to make a deal with Napoleon Bonaparte for the purchase of a large section of the Louisiana Territory.  On April 30, 1803, the United States finally signed the Louisiana Purchase Treaty. This purchase immediately doubled the size of the United States at that time.

100 years later, Congress appropriated $5 million to fund the construction of a world fair, including the building’s and exhibits.  Additionally Congress also approved the production of 250,000 gold dollars to commemorate this memorable event.  At the time, Farran Zerbe famous coin collector and dealer had close connections with the Mint and he suggested the use of two different designs on the coins in an attempt to popularize the coins. 

Therefore, the Mint struck two different 1903 Louisiana Purchase Gold Dollars. One had a portrait of Thomas Jefferson on the obverse, while the second on had a portrait of William McKinley.  Both coin designs carried the same reverse design.

Obviously, the first coin had Thomas Jefferson’s design since he is the one who made the Louisiana Purchase possible. McKinley on the other hand, appeared on the second coin design because he was assassinated just six months after he signed the appropriations bill for the Exposition.

At the Exposition Fairground, each 1903 Louisiana Purchase Gold Dollar was being sold by Zerbe at a price of $3 each.  Unfortunately, the entire mintage of the coins failed to sell out. Ten years after the Exposition, Zerbe continued to sell them at a lower price than the original $3 issue price. By 1914, at least 215,000 coins still remained unsold and were later melted by the U.S. Mint. 

PCGS #
7443
Designer
Charles E. Barber
Edge
Reeded
Diameter
14.30 millimeters
Weight
1.70 grams
Mintage
17500
Metal
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Pop Higher
2547
Pop Lower
486
Region
The United States of America
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades
65 or Better 10000 R-3.0 11 / 13 11 / 13
All Grades 9000 R-3.2 11 / 13 11 / 13
60 or Better 3000 R-4.4 12 / 13 12 / 13
65 or Better 10000
All Grades 9000
60 or Better 3000
65 or Better R-3.0
All Grades R-3.2
60 or Better R-4.4
65 or Better 11 / 13
All Grades 11 / 13
60 or Better 12 / 13
65 or Better 11 / 13
All Grades 11 / 13
60 or Better 12 / 13

Condition Census Learn More

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67+ PCGS grade MS67+ PCGS grade

Legend Rare Coin Auctions 6/2019:506

1 MS67+ PCGS grade MS67+ PCGS grade
1 MS67+ PCGS grade MS67+ PCGS grade
1 MS67+ PCGS grade MS67+ PCGS grade
1 MS67+ PCGS grade MS67+ PCGS grade
MS67+ PCGS grade #1 MS67+ PCGS grade

Legend Rare Coin Auctions 6/2019:506

MS67+ PCGS grade #1 MS67+ PCGS grade
MS67+ PCGS grade #1 MS67+ PCGS grade
MS67+ PCGS grade #1 MS67+ PCGS grade
MS67+ PCGS grade #1 MS67+ PCGS grade