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    Description

    1915 No S Panama-Pacific Half Dollar
    PR66+ ★ Red and Brown
    Judd-1962, Finest Known Copper Example

    1915 P50C No S Panama-Pacific Half Dollar, Judd-1792/1962, Pollock-2030, R.8, PR66+ ★ Red and Brown NGC. CAC. Design. Both obverse and reverse were coined from the same dies as the regular-issue Panama-Pacific half dollars, but without the S mintmark. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.

    Commentary. The very rare Panama-Pacific half dollar experimental pieces were struck at the Philadelphia Mint before the mintmark was added to the dies. Examples are known in gold, silver, and copper. It is possible that the copper pieces were die trials, but most numismatists believe they were all struck clandestinely as fantasy pieces. Walter Breen reported a quote from Farran Zerbe stating the coins "may have been struck as trial pieces at the Philadelphia Mint by the instructions of the Secretary of the Treasury (W.G. McAdoo), who was a coin collector." Only three specimens of Judd-1962 are confirmed today, and it has been nearly a decade since any example was offered at public auction. The present coin is the finest known specimen by a wide margin.

    Physical Description. This spectacular high-end Premium Gem retains most of its original red color, mixed with attractive shades of chestnut-brown and blue. The design elements are well-detailed, and magnification reveals a number of die striations in the fields. The well-preserved surfaces are brightly lustrous, rather than reflective, and only a few microscopic carbon spots can be detected with a loupe. Eye appeal is tremendous. Like other 20th century patterns, the 1915 No S Panama-Pacific half dollars are among the most valuable and sought-after issues of the series.

    Roster and Provenance of Judd-1962.
    1. PR66+Red and Brown NGC. Eric P. Newman EPNNES; the present specimen.
    2. PR65 Red and Brown NGC. Abe Kosoff; Saint Louis ANA (New England Rare Coin Auctions, 7/1979), lot 1363, offered with an example of Judd-1960 and Judd-1961 in separate lots, realized $5,000; Sound Beach Collection (Heritage, 11/2003), lot 11251, offered with the other coins from the 1979 ANA in separate lots, realized $63,250; Southern collection; Simpson Collection.
    3. PR63 Brown PCGS. Fred E. Olsen Collection (B. Max Mehl, 11/1944), lot 625, realized $180; possibly Denver ANA (Heritage, 8/1996), lot 5193, realized $15,400.

    Note: A specimen was exhibited by F.C.C. Boyd at the June 11, 1943 meeting of the New York Numismatic Club, per the July 1943 issue of The Numismatist, Page 559. This citation could refer to any of the three coins mentioned above, or might represent a fourth coin. Many of the patterns in the 1979 ANA sale were from the Dr. James Sloss Collection, which David Akers reported as sold privately in 1974. The three Pan-Pac half dollars may have come from this source, but conclusive evidence is not available at this time.
    From The Eric P. Newman Collection. (NGC ID# 2AMH, PCGS# 72266)


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

    View all of [Selections From The Eric P. Newman Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    24th-28th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,855

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (softcover)
    A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
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