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    1915-S Round Panama-Pacific Fifty, Unc Details
    Only 483 Examples Sold

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Round -- Cleaned -- NGC Details. Unc. The Panama-Pacific fifty dollar gold pieces, designed by Robert Aitken, depict the head of Minerva, the Roman equivalent of the Greek Athena, as the central figure on the obverse. Athena was a multipurpose deity. She was the goddess of war, wisdom, women at the loom, carpenters, charioteering, horse-taming, and shipbuilding. Historian Walter Burket remarked how Athena had united all of these "divergent spheres of competence [not as an] elemental force, but [as] the force of civilization." He goes on to say, "It is not the wild olive of Olympia, but the cultivated tree which is the fit of Athena. ... Poseidon excites the waves, Athena builds the ship; Hermes may multiply the flocks, Athena teaches the use of wool." Athena, then, was a civilizing ideal. As such, this ancient goddess was the perfect representation for the dual celebrations of the Panama-Pacific Exposition, the opening of the Panama Canal and the rebuilding of San Francisco after the devastating earthquake in 1906.

    The Round Panama-Pacific fifty is the scarcer of the two design variants. Only 483 Rounds were sold to collectors. The novel Octagonal was more popular, but even its popularity couldn't sell more than 645 examples at the Exposition. This piece shows only light hairlining on each side and the overbrightness one would expect. Still, the surfaces are pleasing and retain most of the coin's original satiny luster. There are almost no abrasions on either side, and locating those that are present requires magnification.

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2019
    25th-28th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 453

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