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1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar Octagonal
Select Mint State Example

1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS63 NGC. CAC. While this Panama-Pacific fifty dollar octagonal is not among the Eric P. Newman 1915-dated patterns from the famous exposition, the successful bidder on this lot will nonetheless accrue extra bragging rights by acquiring this coin from the same sale as the Newman patterns.

The 1915-S Panama-Pacific octagonal coins are, for many collectors, preferred to their round counterparts, despite their somewhat larger net distribution, 645 pieces versus 483 of the round. (Plus, as an added bonus, you get 16 free frolicking dolphins -- eight on each side -- in the vertices of the design.) Their unusual shape hearkens back to the classic Territorial gold coins also made in San Francisco, the 1851- and 1852-dated fifty dollar "ingots" or "slugs" minted under Augustus Humbert and the U.S. Assay Office.

The 1915-S Panama-Pacific coins are classic collectibles from the "classic era" of U.S. commemorative coinage (1892-1954), and they are far and away the most desired -- and the largest -- of the various American gold commemorative issues of that period. But beyond their intrinsic aesthetic beauty, the 1915-S Panama-Pacific coins mark another, more important milestone: the rise of San Francisco as the world-class city it is today from the ashes and ruin of the calamitous Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906.

This present Select Mint State NGC-graded example of the octagonal design is a nice coin for the grade, and prospective bidders will no doubt note the CAC endorsement as well. The medium golden surfaces show excellent eye appeal but the luster is a tad muted. There are few mentionable marks, although a small scrape appears on Minerva's rear neck, below the helmet, and the reverse shows a tick on the owl's right (facing) wing.

This octagonal fifty is in about a median grade for certified survivors, and as such should appeal to a wide range of the collecting public.
From The Fairfax Collection.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# BYHP, PCGS# 7452)

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Auction Dates
April, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
Members Tracking: N/A
Page Views: 728

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