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1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar Round, MS64
Among the 'Great Numismatic Treasures'
of the 20th Century

1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Round MS64 NGC. Writing on PCGS' CoinFacts website, Ron Guth ranks the 1915-S Panama-Pacific fifty dollar round coins as one of the "great numismatic treasures" of the 20th century. Both the round and octagonal versions are tied for number 26 among the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins, also by Guth accompanied by Jeff Garrett. In that volume, the authors make an excellent case for the broad appeal these coins generate among the collecting public:

"The 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 gold coins were designed to commemorate the opening of the Panama Canal. Weighing in at nearly 2.5 ounces of gold each, these magnificent coins, also known as 'slugs,' are very popular with collectors. Their size along is a compelling reason to admire them. The Panama-Pacific 'Fifties' are also very scarce. The Round has a surviving mintage of only 483 pieces, the lowest of any commemorative coin ever produced. ..."

As incredible as it may seem to modern-day collectors, at one time some of the Pan-Pac fifties were apparently carried as pocket pieces; circulated examples can be found today in appreciable numbers. (About 10% of the total round and octagonal fifties certified at PCGS are in circulated grades.)
Although Gem examples of the round and octagonal are both quite elusive, extremely attractive specimens in the lower Mint State grades appear at auction with some regularity. As model representatives of gold's enduring popularity and today's heightened interest in commemorative issues of all kinds, the Pan-Pac fifties are the subject of intense collector demand that seems certain to continue.
This Choice Mint State specimen exhibits yellow-gold luster with satin surfaces. Although a few hairlines subdue the surfaces, there are no mentionable marks on either side. A single tiny spot attached to the pellet following AMERICA may serve to trace the provenance of this piece. NGC has certified 70 finer examples of this variety, including resubmissions (2/11).
From The B & D Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# BYHP, PCGS# 7451)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2011
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