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    1915-S Octagonal Pan-Pac Fifty, MS63
    Prestigious Exposition Memento

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS63 PCGS Secure. Congress authorized (along with several lesser denominations) a coinage of 3,000 fifty dollar commemorative gold pieces for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco in 1915. This was the largest gold denomination struck by the Mint for general distribution up to that time. One half of the coins were to be round, but the other 1,500 pieces were ordered to be struck "similar in shape to the octagonal $50 gold pieces issued in California in eighteen hundred and fifty-one," according to the authorizing legislation of January 16,1915.

    Although equal numbers of the two varieties were struck, distribution totals were different. Buyers of the hefty fifty dollar gold pieces favored the Octagonal variant. The two varieties could be purchased together as part of a framed set of Pan-Pac commemoratives, but most buyers chose an individual coin or a cheaper Pan-Pac commemorative set that contained only one fifty dollar gold piece. In the case of the smaller sets and the individual coins, the Octagonal fifty dollar gold piece was requested more frequently than the Round. In all, 483 Round and 645 Octagonal Panama-Pacific fifties were sold. The remainder of each issue was melted.

    Today, the Pan-Pac fifty dollar gold pieces are the most sought-after of all classic commemoratives. The Octagonal coin differs from the Round variant not only in shape, but in design -- eight dolphins appear around the periphery on each side, occupying the voids created by the angular planchet shape. The dolphins were intended to represent the uninterrupted water route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans created by that the newly completed Panama Canal. Due to the shape, the dolphins were omitted from the Round issue. The Octagonal coin may be slightly more plentiful than the Round variant today, but it is inherently more intriguing from numismatic, artistic, and historical perspectives.

    This example has luminous orange-gold surfaces with a lovely satin sheen. Pan-Pac fifties are known for often having strong eye appeal even in low grades, but this Select example is truly high-end for its designation. Close examination reveals only a few light grazes and lines on each side, and the strike is sharp. Eye appeal is outstanding.
    Ex: ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2010), lot 3664, which realized $74,750.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# BYHP, PCGS# 7452)

    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
    September, 2018
    6th-9th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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