Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1915-S Octagonal Panama-Pacific Fifty, MS62
    Modeled After the Gold Rush-Era 'Slugs'

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS62 PCGS. An act of January 16, 1915, provided for the coinage of four special commemoratives to be issued in conjunction with the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco the same year. Among them was an authorized production of 3,000 fifty dollar gold pieces, each weighing nearly three ounces. As noted in the Annual Report of the Director of the Mint, the act further provided "that one-half of the $50 gold pieces struck 'shall be similar in shape to the octagonal $50 gold pieces issued in California in 1851.'"

    The Gold Rush-era "slugs" referred to were the United States Assay Office fifty dollar gold pieces struck under contract with Moffat & Company, with Augustus Humbert serving as Assayer. The official terminology for these hefty issues was "ingots," and they were critical to an operational banking system and economy in California during the early 1850s, when large amounts of gold ore were being deposited from the mines with no federal mint to convert them into standard coin.

    The San Francisco Mint was put into operation in 1854, occupying the same physical facility that had been the home of the U.S. Assay Office from 1851 through 1853. The fifty dollar ingots were replaced by federal eagles and double eagles, and many of the octagonal fifties in circulation were melted down and recoined. More than six decades later, on the occasion of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, dies were shipped to the San Francisco Mint to once more strike octagonal fifty dollar gold pieces.

    The first of the Pan-Pac commemoratives were delivered on May 28th, 1915, and by the end of the fiscal year (June 30th), 609 fifty dollar Pan-Pacs had been coined -- all of the octagonal variety. Total production for the octagonal variety eventually reached 1,509 coins, including assay pieces. However, an advertised purchase price that was as hefty as the coins (twice face value) stunted sales, and only 645 of the new "slugs" were distributed. Today, the octagonal Panama-Pacific fifty dollar commemorative and its equally impressive round counterpart are the keys to the classic commemorative series.

    This piece displays sharply struck design elements and original tangerine-gold mint luster. The reverse is particularly luminous, while the obverse shows a few faint slide marks on Minerva's portrait that define the MS62 designation. This is a smooth, problem-free example that is far more attractive than usual for this collectible Mint State grade.(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.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  | PCGS Guarantee of Grade and Authenticity  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2017
    26th-30th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 788

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 3 days left to consign to the 2019 January 30 - February 4 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The catalogs are beautifully done and are a very valuable instrument for keeping up with what is happening in the coin world.
    F.I. ,
    Twin Lake, MI
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 November 8 - 11 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 November 8 - 11 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $6,735,105
    2018 December 6 - 7 HKINF World Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2018 December 6 - 7 HKINF World Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $3,312,394
    2018 December 5 - 7 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2018 December 5 - 7 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,814,223