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    Description

    Important Select 1915-S Octagonal
    Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS63 PCGS. The Panama-Pacific fifty dollar design, which is shared between round and octagonal forms, has a decidedly classical feel, a deliberate artistic choice of sculptor Robert Aitken. The classicist Cornelius Vermeule offered this intriguing assessment of possible inspirations and influences:

    "In an overall view, the arresting feature of the giant gold coins was their archaistic treatment of details and relief. Athena's crest, wreath, curls, and aegis imitate the work of an ancient bronze. The bead and reel between the outside rims comes from Greek architecture, and a form of the lettering around the rim recalls Roman sestertii of the Empire or papal medallions of the Cinquecento."


    While the sculptor likely did not take all of the above as conscious influences, Vermeule's exposition nonetheless illustrates the debt owed by Aitken to his classical predecessors.
    This Select coin is a well struck, pleasingly preserved example of this ever-popular issue. Athena's face and helmet show no singularly distracting flaws, and the entire coin is awash in mint luster. Close examination will note some minor lines, of the type present on the vast majority of this issue. Since much of the Panama-Pacific Exposition coinage was sold to non-coin collectors, time and attrition took a toll on these heavy coins. Many show rim bumps from being dropped or mishandled in some fashion, and problem-free survivors are more elusive than the population numbers might suggest. This coin is an excellent example for the grade and worthy of a place in an advanced 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.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2010
    25th-28th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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