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Obverse of 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 Gold - Octagonal      Reverse of 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 Gold - Octagonal


1915-S PANAMA PACIFIC
$50 GOLD
- OCTAGONAL

PCGS No: 7452

Designer: Robert Aitken

Diameter: 

Metal content:
 Gold - 90%
Silver and Copper - 10%

Weight: 

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: None (all were made at the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Notes:
In 1915, San Francisco hosted the Panama-Pacific Exposition to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal.  To commemorate the event, the United States mint struck a variety of coins in silver and gold, including a Half Dollar, Gold Dollar, $2-1/2 Gold, $50 Gold Octagonal, and $50 Gold Round.  The coins were sold at the Exposition individually or in a variety of combinations and/or sets.  Apart from Patterns and semi-official Territorial gold coins, the United States had never issued a $50 gold piece.  Not sure of how many they could sell, Mint officials struck 1,509 Octagonal and 1,510 Round versions.  Because of the high cost of the coins and the sets, very few coins actually sold.  Of the 1,509 $50 Rounds, 9 were set aside for assay purposes, 645 were sold to the public, and the remaining 855 coins were destroyed.  The Panama-Pacific $50 Octagonal ranks as one of the great numismatic rarities of the Twentieth Century.

The finest 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 Gold Commemoratives - Octagonal graded by PCGS are 13 MS-65's.

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries

Significant examples:
PCGS MS-65.  Offered by North American Certified Trading in the October 22, 2001 issue of Coin World for $108,500.00

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-64.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries "The Rarities Sale", July 31, 2002, Lot 380, illustrated, unsold

PCGS MS-64.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries "The Rarities Sale", July 31, 2002, Lot 381, illustrated, sold for $42,550.00

NGC MS-63 (illustrated above).  Ex - Superior Galleries' "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 994, plated, unsold

"MS-60".  Ex - Superior Galleries' "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 995, plated, sold for $17,710.00

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The PCGS Population Report, January 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service