1904 saw world tensions increase as Japan declared war on Russia early in the year. What may be surprising to many modern-day precious metal chartists, the price of gold for the year only averaged 1 cent higher than the previous year ($18.96 for 1904) while silver had a 9.2% rise to 61.2 cents. This stability of gold to the American dollar was possibly due to the fact that the British pound, not the dollar, was the world currency safe harbor.
To give America quicker access to the west coast in 1904, Teddy Roosevelt acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone and set up a committee to study the feasibility of constructing a waterway to the west, an event that later would be commemorated in coinage. But 1904 is mostly remembered for another coin: the Lewis & Clark gold dollar designed by Charles Barber. The proceeds of these coins were used to help finance the 406 acre memorial site known as the Lewis & Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon which opened to the public in June,1905. One of the monuments commemorated Sacagawea, the 15 year-old Indian who guided the twosome to and through the “Northwest Passage” a century earlier. In 2000, Sacagawea was again honored with a golden dollar bearing her likeness and name.
The following are the 30 US coins necessary to have a complete set of coins minted in 1904:
Our Philadelphia & San Francisco mints were also authorized to mint the following 24 coins for Costa Rica, Panama, the Philippines, and Salvador in 1904. This brings the total collectible coins for this year set to 54.