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1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Round, MS64 NGC....

2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach #1189

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Auction Ended On: Sep 27, 2013
Item Activity: 11 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Long Beach Convention Center
100 S. Pine Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90802


1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty, MS64
Scarcer Round Variety
Only 483 Pieces Distributed
1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Round, MS64 NGC. The Panama-Pacific International Exposition was held in San Francisco in 1915 to commemorate the opening of the Panama Canal and to celebrate the recovery of the city after the great earthquake of 1906. Farran Zerbe proposed an ambitious program of five commemorative coins, ranging from 50 cents to fifty dollars in denomination, to be sold at the exposition. The fifty dollar denomination was produced in both octagonal and round versions, featuring a symbolic design by New York artist Robert Aitken. The design for both fifty dollar formats was identical, except the octagonal pieces had dolphins in the angles of the coin, outside the inscriptions.

A total of 1,510 round fifties were struck, including 10 assay coins. Unfortunately, the selling price of $100 per coin was too high for most collectors to afford, and only 483 coins were actually distributed, with the remainder being melted sometime after the exposition closed. The unusual octagonal design of the other fifty dollar commemorative proved slightly more popular, but the same economic considerations limited the sale of that issue to a meager 645 pieces. Both varieties are very scarce today and, as might be expected, the round issue is harder to locate than its octagonal counterpart.

The coin offered here is an attractive Choice example, with sharply detailed design elements throughout. The pleasing lemon-yellow surfaces show a few accents of orange and rose, with a rough granular texture that induces memories of the old Wass-Molitor fifties of the Gold Rush days. Vibrant mint luster adds to the outstanding eye appeal.
From The Joan Carroll Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26HM, PCGS# 7451)

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