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    Description

    Prized Fifty Dollar Octagonal
    1915-S Panama-Pacific Piece

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS63 NGC. CAC. Regardless of other factors, the two variants of the fifty dollar gold Panama-Pacific commemoratives were going to have the lowest mintages among the five types created for the Exposition. Swiatek and Breen mention in their Encyclopedia of United States Silver & Gold Commemorative Coins, "According to Exposition price lists, a single $50 coin could be had for $100, but this price entitled the buyer to the half dollar, dollar and quarter eagle free of charge."
    In other words, for every individual round or octagonal fifty dollar gold coin sold by Farran Zerbe's concession, a complete set of the rest of the series would be thrown into the bargain. Of course, the other, much smaller denominations were bought more frequently than the $100, or double face value, that the $50 pieces commanded. The least-expensive Panama-Pacific silver half dollars, which buyers could see minted on the Exposition grounds, right before their eyes, proved the most popular of all.
    Yet in relative terms-specifically, the net mintage of each issue as a percentage of the maximum authorized mintage-both varieties of the fifty dollar commemorative outdid their half dollar counterpart, which wound up selling just under 14% of its maximum. By contrast, the round fifty dollar issue's net mintage of 483 pieces is slightly over 32% of its maximum. The 645 octagonal pieces sold represent an even better percentage, 43% on the dot.
    Of course, not all of those 645 pieces have lasted to the present day, making survivors such as this Select example all the more elusive. Like many of its fellows, it shows a number of light marks and a dig to the left of the portrait, yet these flaws are minor in the context of the eye appeal. Orange-kissed yellow-gold surfaces are delightfully lustrous. An attractive and important coin.
    From The Larry V. Cunningham 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 Larry V. Cunningham Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2010
    25th-28th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
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