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    Description

    1915-S Panama-Pacific Round Fifty Dollar, MS63
    One of the Premier Designs by Robert Aitken

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Round MS63 PCGS. Quick numismatic quiz:

    Q. What other commemorative coin issue, besides the Panama-Pacific International Exposition octagonal and round fifty dollar designs, features sculptor Robert I. Aitken's interpretation of the goddess Minerva?
    A. The 1935-S and 1936-D California-Pacific International Exposition silver commemorative half dollars -- better known as the San Diego halves today -- offer Aitken's design of Minerva on one side, taken from the State Seal of California.


    In between the two designs, Aitken also sculpted the beautiful Missouri Centennial half dollar design. Art critic Cornelius Vermeule (Numismatic Art in America) likens the obverse portrait on the Missouri half dollar to a "Medici prince" and the reverse design to "Renaissance condottieri in a large fresco of court ceremonials."

    Note that the two designs of Minerva (Athena) are markedly different, yet Aitken uses some of the same devices in each. The gold Pan-Pac fifties show the portrait of the goddess facing left, sporting a heavy, stylized helmet; the silver half dollars show a full-length Minerva seated, clutching a raised spear and lowered shield. Both designs, however, use heavy, raised circular inner borders that serve to uphold the lettering flush with the surface of the coin, while simultaneously delineating deeper levels for three-dimensional modeling of the central figures.

    The popularity of the massive 1915-S Panama-Pacific fifty dollar gold pieces is undeniable, for their rarity as well as their artistry. Discriminating collectors who appreciate Aitken's coinage art, however, might consider assembling a four-coin commemorative set containing not only the two Pan-Pac fifty gold pieces, but also the Missouri and San Diego silver issues. This Pan-Pac Round will get such a collection off to a good start. The surfaces are rich orange-gold and a loupe will be required to locate the few tiny contact marks that are present.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# BYHP, PCGS# 7451)

    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
    January, 2015
    7th-12th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
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