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    Outstanding Gem 1915-S Octagonal Fifty

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS65 NGC. Ex: Swiss America/Dr. Merritt. Although he left the White House after the election of 1908, Theodore Roosevelt's artistic influence is readily evident in the design of the Panama-Pacific Exposition's fifty dollar commemorative. An admirer of Classical Greek coinage, Roosevelt is the man most responsible for the production of the beautiful Indian eagle and Saint-Gaudens double eagle designs of 1907. No doubt, following in the footsteps of the former president, Robert Aitken looked back to ancient Athens during his execution of the Pan-Pac quintuple eagle in 1915. The obverse of this beautiful gold piece displays a representation of Athena, patron goddess of the famous Greek seafaring city-state. The owl of Athena, another symbol that adorned Athens' coinage, dominates the reverse. Even though Augustus Saint-Gaudens' work has gained wider recognition, it was Robert Aitken's fifty dollar gold piece that erected the strongest artistic bridge between U.S. coinage of the 20th century and pre-Christian Athens.
    Even though fewer octagonal pieces were melted (855 coins versus 1,017 round coins), it is still an elusive issue whose desirability increases with grade. This immaculately preserved Gem is evenly toned in a lovely shade of deep greenish-gold. The typically satiny luster is unimpaired and, even with a loupe, surface marks of any size are nearly undetectable on either side of the coin. A truly wonderful example of this legendary commemorative issue.(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 Dates
    May-Jun, 2007
    31st-1st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 27
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    The pre-sale publicity was more than I imagined, and the actual catalog better than I had expected - and my expectations were high!
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    Allamonte Springs, FL
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