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    1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty, MS63+
    Round Version

    First Struck on July 12, 1915

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Round MS63+ PCGS. Ex: Simpson. An article in the August 1915 issue of The Numismatist marked the initial striking of the Panama-Pacific fifty, including a photo of California Congressman Julius Kahn striking the fourth piece while various dignitaries looked on: "In all to the number of about eighty, to witness the production of not only the first $50 piece, but the first coin of octagonal shape to be produced under government authority." Two additional photos show further striking of the octagonal $50 gold pieces that were coined on June 15, 1915. Nearly one month passed until the round pieces were delivered to the Exposition Coin and Medal department on July 12, 1915.

    The statement that these pieces were the first of the denomination produced under government authority is inaccurate as the Augustus Humbert pieces struck in 1851 for the U.S. Assay Office of Gold holds that honor. Congress authorized the Panama-Pacific commemorative coinage on January 16, 1915. A total of $5,000 was appropriated to defray the cost of designs, with the stipulation that the Panama-Pacific International Exposition Company will reimburse the Treasury Department. Production of the commemorative coinage, related souvenir medals, and award medals was under supervision of numismatist Farran Zerbe.

    This fully lustrous yellow-gold example is a splendid representation of the design prepared by Robert Aitken, a 36-year-old San Francisco-born sculptor. The fields have a textured appearance, and both sides have strong design definition, with brilliant yellow luster.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# BYLU, PCGS# 7451)

    Weight: 83.59 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    Auction Info

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    15th Friday
    Auction Dates
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    82 Days
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