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1916 McKinley Birthplace Memorial gold dollar, obverse (left) and reverse (right)

The McKinley Birthplace Memorial gold dollar was a commemorative coin struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1916 and 1917, with the obverse designed by Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, and the reverse by his assistant, George T. Morgan. As William McKinley had appeared on a version of the 1903-dated Louisiana Purchase Exposition gold dollar, the 1916 release made him the first person to appear on two issues of U.S. coins. The coins benefitted the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial at Niles, Ohio. The issue was originally proposed as a silver dollar; this 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 20,000 were sold, many of these at a reduced price to Texas coin dealer B. Max Mehl. Another 10,000 pieces were returned to the Mint for melting. (Full article...)