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    1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar Round
    Highly Lustrous MS64+

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Round MS64+ PCGS. CAC. The Panama-Pacific International Exposition was held in San Francisco in 1915. This world's fair both celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal and demonstrated to the world that the city had recovered from the devastating earthquake and fire that occurred nine years earlier. It was one of America's most tragic natural disasters. The exposition covered 600 acres, including more than two miles of waterfront, and welcomed a daily average of 66,000 visitors. More than 18 million people attended the fair during its nine-month run.

    The idea of San Francisco hosting a great fair dated to 1904 when successful San Francisco merchant Reuben Hale formed an association for that purpose and asked Congress for $5 million. Congress delayed, and the 1906 earthquake essentially destroyed the city, but not the hopes of its merchants. City leaders created the Panama Pacific Exposition Company before year's end. A little over four years later, in February 1911, President Taft signed a resolution that designated San Francisco as the site of the Panama-Pacific Exposition.

    Work began to plan and build the exposition grounds, and the total construction cost reached $15 million, according to the National Park Service website ( ). During this time, Farran Zerbe entered the picture and proposed an unprecedented commemorative coin series that included four denominations: the half dollar, gold dollar, two-and-a-half-dollar gold piece, and the massive fifty-dollar coin. Charles Barber and George Morgan designed the half dollar and the two-and-a-half, while Charles Keck designed the gold dollar, and Robert Aitken designed the fifty-dollar coin.

    This Choice Mint State example of the round fifty-dollar coin, one of just 483 examples that were distributed, exhibits nearly flawless orange-gold surfaces and brilliant satin luster. A loupe is required to view the trivial, grade-limiting marks that keep this beautiful piece out of the Gem category. PCGS has certified only 31 numerically finer examples (2/18), and that total includes resubmissions.
    From The Barry F. Smith Collection. (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.

    View all of [The Barry F. Smith Collection ]

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    April, 2018
    25th-29th Wednesday-Sunday
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