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    1915-S Panama-Pacific Round Fifty, MS64
    Sumptuous Eye Appeal

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Round MS64 NGC. The 1915-S Panama-Pacific round and octagonal fifty dollar gold commemoratives are the largest and most impressive numismatic reminders of that great triple observance that occurred just about 100 years ago now, one that celebrated the completion and opening of the mighty Panama Canal, feted the phoenixlike rebuilding from the ashes of San Francisco in the decade following the great earthquake and fire of 1906, and served as a (roughly) quatercentenary observance of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean. In 1513, the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama, marking the first sighting by a European of the eastern Pacific, which Balboa named the "Mar del Sur" (Southern Ocean). (It received its current name in 1521 when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan encountered favorable winds on reaching the body of water, calling it "Mar Pacifico" in Portuguese, meaning "peaceful ocean.")

    The completion of the Panama Canal under the constant tutelage and hectoring of President Theodore Roosevelt has been called the "greatest liberty man ever took with Nature," and its importance cannot be overstated -- with the perspective of a century of hindsight, it is arguably the most crucial single event that gave the United States status as an international superpower.

    It is fitting that the fifty dollar gold commemoratives celebrating the event also have monumental significance to numismatists the world over today. Some, perhaps many, find the design and subject matter of Robert Aitken for these coins to even surpass those of Augustus Saint-Gaudens for his famous twenty dollar High Relief coins of a few years earlier -- also a "pet project" of Teddy Roosevelt.

    Copious orange-gold luster is the hallmark of this sumptuous near-Gem round Pan-Pac, a piece likely kept out of the Gem category only by a few stray ticks on the cheek of Minerva and in the left obverse field. The reverse is free of mentionable marks, and both sides offer a wealth of eye appeal.(Registry values: N10218) (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
    August, 2015
    12th-16th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,007

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