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    Description

    1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar
    Octagonal Format, MS62
    Only 645 Coins Sold

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS62 NGC. The 1915-S fifty dollar gold pieces are scarce in all grades and in both Octagonal and Round formats. Legislation provided for the manufacture of 3,000 coins equally divided between the two types, but only 645 Octagonal fifties and 483 Round representatives were sold. Most of these were saved, and about 80% of the total mintage survives.

    The Panama-Pacific fifty dollar gold coins were made available in three ways: through individual sale, in five-coin sets, or in 10-coin sets. The five-coin sets contained an example of the silver half dollar, gold dollar, and gold quarter eagle, as well as one each of the Octagonal and Round fifties. Double sets featured the obverse and reverse of each coin presented in a velvet-lined tray with gold foil descriptions under glass in a copper frame produced by Shreve & Co. This example, along with the other coins from this consignment, derive from one of the few double Panama-Pacific coin sets known.

    In his Commemorative Coins of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia, Dave Bowers discusses the sale of five- and 10-coin sets. Roughly 300 five-coin sets were sold despite their high $200 price tag. That was a significant sum at the time, but obtaining one of each coin would have been perfectly reasonable for those who could afford it.

    There was also a small group of wealthy financiers, professionals, and politicians for whom one of each was insufficient. Perhaps as few as six and certainly fewer than 10 individuals or institutions opted for the opulent double set, which cost $400 in 1915 (the equivalent of $9,560 in 2017). Today, the double set is something a numismatic legend; It is spoken of but seldom seen. Again, Bowers comments: "Of the half dozen or fewer double sets made, three or four are known. I have handled two and have seen one other double set." A couple more sets have appeared on the market in last 20 years, but the double set and the coins they contain remain treasured rarities.

    This light orange-gold representative displays a strong strike characteristic of the 1915-S Octagonal fifty dollar. The reverse maintains its original brightness, while the obverse is somewhat more subdued. Both sides show evidence of a light wipe, curious considering the limited time between this coin's striking and its inclusion in the encased double set.
    From The Cherry Grove Collection. (Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# BYHP, PCGS# 7452)

    Weight: 83.59 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Cherry Grove Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    3rd-8th Wednesday-Monday
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