Excellent Gem Quality 1915-S Panama-Pacific Octagonal Gold $50 In Our Upcoming July 2015 Baltimore Rarities Night Auction

One of the most popular – and certainly one of the most beautiful of all American commemorative coinage design types, gold or otherwise – is the 1915-S Panama-Pacific gold $50. Our upcoming Rarities Night sale, to be held in conjunction with the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo this July, will feature a Gem Mint State-65 NGC-certified example of this popular and unique design type.


Held in San Francisco in 1915, the Panama-Pacific Exposition was well attended and brought the current wonders of the country and the world together in a gala event. The San Francisco Mint struck commemorative silver half dollars, gold dollars and quarter eagles, and gold $50 “slugs” which were offered in round and octagonal formats. A bust of Athena or Minerva, your choice, adorns the obverse in full battle regalia while the reverse exhibits an owl, the ancient symbol of wisdom. Designed by Robert Aitken, the two types were sold at the Exposition, either individually or as a pair, and also in complete sets of all the denominations. The issues of 1915 represent the first mintmarked coins in the commemorative series. About 1,500 examples of each style were produced, but sales were somewhat limited as $50 represented a lot of money to a whole lot of people in 1915. In the end just 483 examples of the round-shaped pieces sold, while 645 examples of the unusual octagonal design were sold. Today, both formats are highly desirable, and are sought in all grades by avid specialists. The Gem in our upcoming Rarities Night July event will perform well when it enters the auction arena, and we expect many bidders will enjoy the opportunity to contend for this beauty!

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