1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS63 NGC....
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|Auction Ended On:||Apr 29, 2010|
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The Midwest Airlines Center
Fifty Dollar Octagonal, MS63
The net distribution of the octagonal Pan-Pacs was 645 pieces, with its round sibling having an even-lower net distribution of 483 coins. The Panama-Pacific coins show interesting parallels (as well as differences) with some of the modern U.S. Mint products, which also have a high precious-metal content, high nominal (face) value, and low mintage figures. Chief among those modern series are the proof platinum American Eagle coins, containing one troy ounce of pure platinum, with a face value of $100, most struck to the extent of a couple of thousand pieces annually. While those low-mintage bullion coins have no commemorative connection, they do have differing reverse designs and show the potential for being collected as type or date issues.
Another series with some similarities and differences is the First Spouse series of $10 gold pieces, smaller in size and containing a net half-ounce of gold, but with the potential for some three-digit mintage figures among the issues if present trends continue.
Regardless of how the marketplace ultimately receives those modern issues, the 1915-S Panama-Pacifics are assured of their numismatic legacy as the rarest and lowest-mintage type coins produced in the last century. Of them "Mr. Commemorative" Anthony Swiatek wrote in his 2001 commemorative coin reference:
"Both well-distributed issues are extremely popular, fully enjoyed and treasured by most who own them. I compare them to the rare fancy diamonds naturally colored pink, red, blue or green. They are the truffles and Beluga caviar of commemorative coinage, and outstanding celebrities in our coin world."
This piece appears much finer at arm's length than its technical grade, but close inspection reveals a few light, grade-consistent distractions. The only marks of note are a squiggly scrape on Minerva's cheek and a couple of slide marks across the owl on the reverse. The luster is full and bright, and the coloration throughout is a glorious deep, mellow orange-gold.
Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2004), lot 3002, which realized $47,150. (Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 26HN, PCGS# 7452)
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