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    1915-S Panama Pacific Five-Piece Set
    With the Original Box

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific Five-Piece Set NGC, with the Original Case of Issue. When Farran Zerbe set about to promote numismatic sales in conjunction with the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition, he conjured up some fantastic offerings. Prior to that event, commemorative quarters and half dollars were issued for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1892 and 1893, silver dollars to mark the General Lafayette monument given to the people of Paris in 1900, gold dollars in 1903 and 1904 for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, and again in 1904 and 1905 for the Lewis and Clark Exposition. Zerbe convinced Congress to authorize four denominations for the Panama-Pacific Exposition, including the impressive 50-dollar gold piece. He then went so far as to recommend round and octagonal examples of that large denomination commemorative coin as specified in the legislation that was approved on January 16, 1915: " ... and one-half of the issue of $50 gold coins herein authorized shall be similar in shape to the octagonal $50 gold pieces issued in California in eighteen hundred and fifty-one ..."

    The legislation authorized as many as 3,000 of the 50 dollar gold pieces, but far fewer actually found homes at the exposition, with total sales of 483 round pieces and 645 octagonal examples. Zerbe marketing these in several different options, including five-piece sets in boxes as offered here, five-piece sets in copper frames, and 10-piece double sets in copper frames. The 50-dollar gold pieces sold for $100 each, and purchasers of the five-piece or 10-piece sets received the smaller denomination coins at no additional cost.

    The original black leather case with purple velvet interior and gilt lettering accompanies the five coins in the set, including:

    1915-S Panama-Pacific Half Dollar -- Improperly Cleaned -- NGC Details. Unc.
    Satin luster remains despite the light cleaning, with light silver-gray toning at the centers and peripheral rings of blue, gold, and lavender. The coin is well-struck and devoid of bothersome abrasions.

    1915-S Panama-Pacific Gold Dollar -- Improperly Cleaned -- NGC Details. Unc. Faint hairlines on the bright yellow-gold surfaces betray a light cleaning, but this remains a lustrous example of the smallest gold issue in the set. A few light abrasions do not distract.

    1915-S Panama-Pacific Quarter Eagle MS64 NGC. A lovely Choice Mint State example with brilliant and frosty yellow luster. The coin displays well-struck motifs and is one of the most visually pleasing coins in this set.

    1915-S Panama-Pacific Round Fifty AU58 NGC. This attractive, problem-free near-Mint coin exhibits virtually full yellow-gold luster and traces of high-point rub on each side. No significant abrasions are seen.

    1915-S Panama-Pacific Octagonal Fifty AU58 NGC. The satiny yellow luster is exceptionally clean on this near-Mint example, and traces of rub on the highest points of the design are hardly noticed. This is easily one of the most appealing AU-level Octagonal fifties that we have handled.
    From The Commander Collection.

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

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    3rd-8th Wednesday-Monday
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