In 1904, for the centennial of the Lewis & Clark exploration, a bill was passed to mint 250,000 Gold dollars in their honor. Designed by Charles Barber, this is the only coin in the U.S. Mint's history to feature a profile on both sides. Due to low popularity, most coins were melted leaving roughly 10,000 of each date (1904 and 1905) existing.
- Contains .0483 oz actual Gold weight.
- PCGS encapsulation protects and guarantees the condition of the coin.
- Designed by Charles Barber.
- Obverse: Depicts a profile of explorer Meriwether Lewis.
- Reverse: Features a profile of explorer William Clark.
- Guaranteed by the U.S. Mint.
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In 1804, Thomas Jefferson's personal secretary and Army Captain Meriwether Lewis, as well as Lewis' friend, Captain William Clark, began a long journey westward to explore newly acquired territory. They returned after nearly two and a half years, after both had been rumored and believed dead.
One hundred years later, a centennial celebration took place in St. Louis, Missouri to commemorate the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, and the following year, in Portland, Oregon, Lewis and Clark themselves were commemorated. In addition to the funding of these two celebrations, the bill that was passed in early 1904 also set a maximum mintage of 250,000 Gold dollars that would bear the likenesses of both Lewis and Clark.
The coin was designed and modeled by the Chief Mint Engraver Charles Barber which depicts a portrait of Lewis on the obverse and Clark on the reverse. All of the Lewis & Clark Dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1904 but remained in the Mint's vault, unreleased, until the June of 1905.
Due to poor sales in Missouri at $3 per coin, they were sold again in Oregon at $2 per coin. In the end, over 40,000 1904 and 1905 Gold Dollars were melted leaving a net mintage of roughly 10,000 coins per date. Most, however, were worked into jewelry or used for silverware, while few others were circulated.