Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar, MS64
    Memorable Octagonal Commemorative
    Designed by Robert Aitken

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS64 PCGS. Ex: Simpson. The argument could very well be made that the 1915-S Panama-Pacific International Expositional fifty dollar gold piece in this octagonal format stands as one of the most memorable among all United States issues, circulating or commemorative. The design by Robert Ingersoll Aitken features a left-facing portrait of Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom, arts, industry, and commerce, on the obverse, while her wise owl companion rests upon a branch of Western pine on the reverse. Dolphins emblematic of the then-recently completed Panama Canal waterway surround the rims on each side.

    Long-time Numismatist editor Barbara Gregory wrote in the June 2008 issue of that publication:

    "When Aitken submitted his sketch to Acting Mint Director T.P. Dewey in January 1915, he noted that his designs were intended to represent the Exposition's underlying theme of wisdom and industry. The images of Minerva and the owl, he said, were 'all full of beauty in themselves, and reinforced the 'larger meaning of the Exposition, its appeal to the intellect.'"

    It will not be lost on collectors that the specific form of these Octagonal Pan-Pac fifties was also a direct nod to the United Assay Office slugs produced under the direction of Augustus Humbert during the first few years of the 1850s and the heyday of the California Gold Rush.

    Although 1,500 coins of each type were authorized for production by Congress, only 645 Octagonal and 483 Round fifty dollar gold pieces were sold, their $100 issue price being a significant barrier to more wide-scale distribution. Unsold coins were melted. This near-Gem is satiny with rich yellow-gold color. Definition is pinpoint-sharp. A couple of minute ticks around the rims and one in the field right of the owl likely prevent an even higher grade.(Registry values: P7)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# BYLX, PCGS# 7452)

    Weight: 83.59 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    19th Thursday 5:50 pm CT
    Auction Dates
    19th-22nd Thursday-Sunday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    23 Days 15h 54m 34s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: 20
    Page Views: 96

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    This lot is in: 1 - Signature® Floor Session (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 3001-3279) - 6:00 PM Central Time, Thursday, November 19, 2020.
    (Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session.)

    Show All Session Information

    Show Auction Type Info

    Exhibition Viewing Times, Title Page, Floor Session and License Information

    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions
    2801 W. Airport Freeway
    Dallas, TX 75261

    Current Bid:
    Bid Protection
    w/ Buyer's Premium (BP) : $19.00 Minimum Next Bid: $1 ($20.00 w/ BP)
    Track Item