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    Description

    1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty, MS64
    Scarcer Round Version
    Only 483 Pieces Distributed

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Round MS64 PCGS. Numismatic entrepreneur Farran Zerbe conceived an ambitious five-coin commemorative program in conjunction with the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition. The commemorative set included a silver half dollar, a gold dollar, a quarter eagle, and two fifty dollar slugs, one round and one octagonal. Both fifty dollar coins featured the same basic design, by New York sculptor Robert I. Aitken. The obverse features a helmeted bust of Minerva, the Greek goddess of wisdom, who also appears on the State of California coat of arms. The motto IN GOD WE TRUST is above the bust and the date in Roman numerals is below, all surrounded by the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA/FIFTY DOLLARS. The reverse exhibits an owl perched on a branch of Western pine next to the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, all surrounded by the legend PANAMA-PACIFIC EXPOSITION/SAN FRANCISCO. The octagonal version also features dolphins in the angled corners outside the rest of the design.

    The coins were initially sold either singly, or in sets, in velvet-lined black leatherette cases. Later in the program, other options were available, including single and double sets housed in glass covered copper frames from local jewelers Shreve & Co. The $100 asking price for the fifty dollar pieces was too expensive for most contemporary collectors, so sales were slow. Only 483 examples of the Round version were eventually distributed, the lowest net production total of any U.S. commemorative coin.

    The present coin is an impressive Choice specimen, with sharply detailed design elements throughout. The textured orange-gold surfaces are lustrous and appealing, with no mentionable distractions. Overall eye appeal is terrific. The 1915-S Panama-Pacific Round fifty dollar piece is one of the biggest "stoppers" in the U.S. commemorative series. This coin should find a home in a fine commemorative collection. PCGS has graded 34 numerically finer examples (12/18).(Registry values: N10218)

    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

    Auction Dates
    Jan-Feb, 2019
    31st-3rd Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,321

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