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    1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty, MS64+
    Gold Commemorative Key
    Only 483 Round Examples Sold

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Round MS64+ PCGS. New York artist Robert Aitken designed both Round and Octagonal versions of the 1915-S Panama-Pacific fifty dollar gold piece. Both versions featured the same basic design, with a helmeted head of the goddess Minerva on the obverse and her sacred owl, perched on a ponderosa pine branch, on the reverse. The classical symbolism of the design mixed seamlessly with the distinctively American homage to the historic Gold Rush era. As well-known art historian Cornelius Vermeule noted, "These coins were a tour de force, dated to be sure, but unusual enough in all respects to be worthy of what American numismatic art could achieve when creativity and Mint technique worked in unison."

    The coins were originally conceived and distributed by Farran Zerbe and 1,500 examples of both Round and Octagonal versions were struck at the San Francisco Mint, to be sold in conjunction with the Panama Pacific International Exposition. Unfortunately, the asking price of $100 per coin was prohibitively expensive for collectors of that era, and only 645 Octagonal and 483 Round specimens were sold. The remainder were later melted. The 1915-S Round Panama-Pacific fifty has the smallest distribution of any U.S. commemorative coin.

    The present coin is a Plus-graded Choice specimen, with well-detailed design elements and well-preserved, textured orange-gold surfaces that show a few highlights of crimson and lilac at the peripheries. Close inspection with a loupe reveals a few microscopic alloy specks on the reverse, but these are barely visible to the naked eye. Overall eye appeal is outstanding. An attractive example of this key issue, this coin should find a home in a fine collection of commemorative gold. PCGS has graded 38 numerically finer examples (11/19).
    From The HFW² Collection. (Registry values: N10218)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# BYLU, PCGS# 7451)

    Weight: 83.59 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    View all of [The HFW2 Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 339

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