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    1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar, MS64
    Popular Octagonal Design, CAC Approval

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS64 NGC. CAC. The 1915-S Panama-Pacific fifty dollar gold pieces have been newsworthy since their introduction as part of the world's fair held in San Francisco that year. On January 27, 1915, the Oakland Tribune announced:

    "After more than half a century the $50 gold 'slug,' a coin octagonal in shape which was minted by a private concern in California in the early mining days, is to appear again as an actual coin of the realm. The souvenir coins to be struck off by the United States government in commemoration of the Panama-Pacific international exhibition will consist of silver half dollars, gold dollars, $2.50 gold pieces and $50 gold pieces. Half of the 3000 $50 pieces to be coins will be replicas of the old 'slug.' Thus the interesting type of money will become a United States coin, to imitate which is a grave felony."

    The coins designed by Robert Aitken were not "replicas" as the paper noted, but rather took inspiration from the United Assay Office/Augustus Humbert fifties produced during the early 1850s. The Pan-Pac fifty dollar commemoratives were first struck off mid-June, and ultimately 1,500 pieces of both the Octagonal and Round types were available for sale, carrying a prohibitive price tag of $100 per coin. Unsurprisingly, few were sold, including just 645 Octagonal coins.

    Their limited distribution, large size, unique shape, and beautiful design have always made the 1915-S fifties eminently popular with collectors, with notices of their sale at auction appearing in major metropolitan newspapers as early as the 1930s, less than 20 years after their production. Today, the coins are just as sought-after, just as appreciated, and just as noteworthy. This rich yellow-gold example with finely textured surfaces and softly frosted luster should generate considerable interest. It boasts a green CAC approval sticker for quality within the grade, and the only obvious abrasion is a tick on Minerva's helmet.(Registry values: P7)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# BYLX, PCGS# 7452)

    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
    September, 2020
    18th-20th Friday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 28
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 990

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