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    Description

    1915-S Panama-Pacific Octagonal Fifty
    Lustrous and Frosty MS64
    Landmark Commemorative Gold Issue

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS64 PCGS. Several souvenir guidebooks were published by the Panama-Pacific International Exposition Company in 1915, each at different price points and with slightly different content. The books outlined the event's mission statement and provided information regarding the location and contents of the palaces, gardens, exhibits, and concessions. The introduction to one of the more lavish guidebooks explains that the fair:

    "... celebrates the completion of that epochal achievement the Panama Canal, by which two continents are severed that the entire world may be brought into close contact. It celebrates also the achievements of mankind during the decade preceding the year 1915, shows the great progress that has been made in every branch of human endeavor and depicts the present capabilities of the human race."



    In addition to the official guidebooks, a variety of souvenir tokens, medals, and other miscellaneous numismatic items were available for purchase by fair-goers. The United States Mint manufactured a number of commemorative coins for the event: a silver half dollar, a gold dollar, a gold two and a half dollar, and two gold fifty dollar coins. A souvenir medal was also produced and was, in fact, the only Mint-made numismatic item available to exhibition visitors until May 1915, three months after the PPIE opened to the public. Farran Zerbe was contracted to sell the Mint products at his Money of the World Exhibit located in the Palace of Liberal Arts.

    Buyers could acquire a set containing the three lower coin denominations plus a choice of either the Round or Octagonal "quintuple eagle" for $100 price. The majority of high-end coin purchasers opted for the distinctly shaped, eight-sided coins, but the high purchase price of these pieces still caused sales to fall short of expectations. Of the 1,500 Octagonal fifties struck, only 645 were sold between July 1915, when they were first issued, and December 1915, when the Exposition shut its doors. While most of the distributed pieces survive, examples are nevertheless scarce in today's market.

    The present near-Gem example displays fully struck devices and original, frosty straw-gold luster that exhibits few abrasions. Eye appeal exceeds that of many other Choice examples that we have handled. Due to their unique size and denomination, circumstances of production, and scarcity in the marketplace, Pan-Pac fifties maintain their rank as the greatest acquisition of the classic commemorative series even more than a century after their production.(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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Oct-Nov, 2016
    31st-2nd Monday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 27
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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