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    1915 Octagonal Pan-Pac Fifty, PR65 Red
    Obverse and Reverse Hubs Trial
    Unique Judd-A1915-3

    1915 $50 Panama-Pacific Octagonal Fifty Dollar, Judd-A1915-3, Unique, PR65 Red NGC. The octagonal 1915 Panama-Pacific fifty dollar gold pieces were intended to capture the romance and historic appeal of the old fifty dollar slugs issued by the United States Assay Office in San Francisco from 1851-1853. The design was conceived by New York artist Robert Aitken. The obverse features the helmeted goddess Minerva (who also appears on the arms of the State of California) inside a circle with the legend UNITED.STATES.OF.AMERICA. above and FIFTY.DOLLARS. below. The reverse displays an owl (symbolic of wisdom) perched on a branch of western pine inside a circle with the legend PANAMA.PACIFIC.EXPOSITION. above and SAN FRANCISCO. below. Dolphins appear in the angles of the octagonal corners, outside the circle on both sides.

    The present piece is a unique hubs trial of these dies struck on an oversized copper planchet. It was probably in the fabulous collection of Virgil Brand for many years, and made its only auction appearance in lot 2249 of the Brand-Lichtenfels, et al Collections (Kreisberg/Schulman, 3/1964):

    "$50 PANAMA-PACIFIC TRIAL PIECE. To test the die prior to the striking in gold an impression of the $50 Octagonal die both obverse and reverse was struck on a round copper planchet (60 mm in diameter). We have never seen any other such trial piece offered. Possibly unique. Perfect condition. Mounted in a custom plastic case. PLATE."

    Of course, the cataloger of this lot misspoke slightly, as the impression was taken from the hubs used to impress the die and not the die itself. Thus, this piece shows the mirror image of the devices that actually appear on the coins. Razor-sharp definition is evident throughout and the well-preserved surfaces of this impressive Gem radiate vibrant mint luster. A medium-size carbon spot at 3 o'clock on the obverse is the only mark of note. Anthony Swiatek purchased this hubs trial from Sol Kaplan at a coin show in Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1971, and it has been off the market ever since. This lot represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire this unique numismatic treasure.

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    7th-12th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,637

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