A frosty and lustrous pale silver gray specimen with overall smooth surfaces that readily uphold the validity of the Gem grade. A curious thing about this particular commemorative is that it was struck on December 14, 1899, the 100th anniversary of Washington's death. When queried as to the propriety of making a coin at a date other than what appeared on the design, the Mint response was that the 1900 date was that of the Paris International Exhibition and not the date of the coin.
This was the first commemorative dollar. Offered at $2, the profits were to go to pay for the statue to be erected in Paris, as depicted on the reverse of the coin. Response did not come up to expectation, and many thousands of pieces remained unsold, stored in the basement of the Treasury Building in Washington, DC. In the early 1940s Aubrey Bebee, a leading coin dealer then located in Chicago (he later moved to Omaha), heard about these and sought to acquire them. He was told that he was just a few weeks too late -- they had all been melted!