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    Description

    1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar, MS65
    Popular Octagonal Design

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS65 NGC. Robert Ingersoll Aitken left his mark on the city of San Francisco long before the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, for which he designed the official award medal and the commemorative Round and Octagonal fifty dollar gold coins. One of Aitken's most important public works was completed years before the 1906 earthquake and fire that devastated San Francisco, and even before the United States began construction on the Panama Canal. Robert Aitken's installation stands at the center of Union Square in the heart of San Francisco.

    The Dewey Monument was inaugurated in 1903 to celebrate Admiral George Dewey's victory at Manilla Bay during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Standing 85 feet tall, it features a large Corinthian pillar topped by bronze Winged Victory holding a trident in her left hand, symbolic of naval victory, and a laurel wreath in the other. At its base, the pedestal reads:

    "ERECTED BY THE CITIZENS OF SAN FRANCISCO TO COMMEMORATE THE VICTORY OF THE AMERICAN NAVY UNDER COMMODORE GEORGE DEWEY AT MANILLA BAY MAY FIRST MDCCCXCVIII.

    "ON MAY TWENTY THIRD MCMI THE GROUND FOR THIS MONUMENT WAS BROKEN BY PRESIDENT WILLIAM McKINLEY."



    President McKinley was assassinated shortly after breaking ground for the site on May 23, 1901. The monument was now jointly dedicated to him as a result. Like Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Sherman Monument outside New York's Central Park, Robert Aitken's Dewey Monument in San Francisco's Union Square serves as an iconic work of turn-of-the-century public statuary. (Interestingly, both were sculpted by hometown artists.) The Dewey also serves as a precursor to the popular and highly sought-after numismatic collectible, the Panama-Pacific fifty dollar gold coin. The octagonal variant was struck in honor of the Gold Rush octagonal "ingots" which were widely circulated in California a half-century before. A smaller number of round fifty dollar coins were also struck. The octagonal commemorative pieces were more popular with fairgoers who could afford to pay $100 for a $50 coin, but only 645 examples were struck. This is a solid Gem whose surfaces are all but free from any post-strike impairments. The mint luster is softly frosted and each side displays even, light orange-gold color.(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
    August, 2020
    3rd-9th Monday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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