1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-65 (NGC).

$148,500

Impressive Octagonal 1915-S Panama-Pacific Gold $50

Boldly lustrous medium gold surfaces with lively highlights, a coin that will pass muster on any close-in inspection. Easily the ready equal of any other Gem example of the issue in numismatic hands, certainly just as lovely and just as desirable.

One of five issues struck in association with the Panama-Pacific International Exposition celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal, the octagonal variant of the $50 gold shares the same basic design as its round counterpart. Both were designed by Robert I. Aitken, the obverse depicting Minerva, goddess of wisdom, skill, contemplation, spinning, weaving, agriculture, and horticulture. A helmet is pushed back over the top of her head, while at her shoulder is the top of a shield inscribed with the date, MCMXV (1915), in Roman numerals. The motto IN GOD WE TRUST is in the upper left field, the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA lines the upper border, and the denomination FIFTY DOLLARS is below. Aitken’s reverse features Minerva’s sacred owl perched on a branch of Western pine, complete with large cones and needles. The Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM is in the right field, while the inscription PANAMA-PACIFIC EXPOSITION / SAN FRANCISCO encircles the border. The octagonal variant, represented here, includes an extra outer border on both sides, each with eight dolphins that symbolize the uninterrupted waterway created by the opening of the Panama Canal.

The San Francisco Mint struck 1,500 examples of each variant of Panama-Pacific $50 for sale at the Exposition. Due to their different shape and the addition of the symbolic dolphin border, the octagonal pieces proved more popular with contemporary buyers, resulting in a greater distribution than the $50 round. In truth, sales for both were disappointing, the original asking price of $100/coin proving too steep for most contemporary Americans. Attempts to increase sales by discounting the price of the $50s when offered as part of sets with the smaller denomination Panama-Pacific coins did little to improve the situation, and in the end most examples of both varieties were melted as unsold. The distribution for the octagonal proved to be just 645 pieces, greater than that of 483 coins for its round counterpart, but still a small total that explains the scarcity of survivors in today’s market. Eagerly sought in all grades, and understandably so, we anticipate keen interest for this remarkable condition rarity in Gem Mint State preservation.

PCGS# 7452. NGC ID: BYLX.

NGC Census: 45; 13 finer.

Out of stock

SKU: A0001088370 Category:

Description

Previous Prices Realized

Image Grade Description Date Realized
Coin Thumbnail 64 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-64 (PCGS). Aug-21 $96,000.00
Coin Thumbnail 64 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-64 (PCGS). CAC. Jun-20 $90,000.00
Coin Thumbnail 64 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-64 (PCGS). Mar-20 $84,000.00
Coin Thumbnail 64 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-64 (NGC). OH. Aug-19 $96,000.00
Coin Thumbnail 64 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-64 (PCGS). May-19 $90,000.00
Coin Thumbnail 64 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-64 (PCGS). Mar-18 $96,000.00
Coin Thumbnail 64 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-64 (PCGS). CAC. OGH. Feb-15 $111,625.00
Coin Thumbnail 65 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-65 (NGC). Aug-22 $132,000.00
Coin Thumbnail 65 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-65 (PCGS). Mar-20 $138,000.00
Coin Thumbnail 65 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-65 (PCGS). Secure Holder. Mar-14 $141,000.00

** NOTE. All prices realized reflect the final hammer price plus the buyer’s premium. As errors can occur, you should contact each pricing source to determine the accuracy of this information. No item may be returned or refused based on the information provided.

Population Guide

Service Grade Population In This Grade Plus Population In Higher Grade Total
PCGS 65 23 5 10 557
NGC 65 45 2 13 462
CAC 65 13 2 107

**NOTE. Information listed is intended to be as accurate as possible, and is being provided to our customers as a service. As errors can occur, you should contact each grading service to determine the accuracy of this information. No item may be returned or refused based on the information provided.

PCGS Pop Guide

Type 1 2 3 4 6 8 10 12 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 45+ 50 53 53+ 55 55+ 58 58+ 60 61 62 62+ 63 63+ 64 64+ 65 65+ 66 66+ 67 67+ 68 68+ 69 70 Total
Base 1 1 4 13 39 11 25 109 167 2 138 14 23 5 4 1 557
Percent 0 0 0 2 7 1 4 19 29 0 24 2 4 0 0 0 100

**NOTE. Information listed is intended to be as accurate as possible, and is being provided to our customers as a service. As errors can occur, you should contact PCGS to determine the accuracy of this information. No item may be returned or refused based on the information provided.

NGC Pop Guide

Type 1 2 3 4 6 8 10 12 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 45+ 50 53 53+ 55 55+ 58 58+ 60 61 62 62+ 63 63+ 64 64+ 65 65+ 66 66+ 67 67+ 68 68+ 69 70 Total
Base 2 21 3 36 63 1 114 4 153 6 45 2 7 4 461
Percent 0 4 0 7 13 0 24 0 33 1 9 0 1 0 100
Star 1 1
Total 2 21 3 36 63 1 114 4 154 6 45 2 7 4 462

**NOTE. Information listed is intended to be as accurate as possible, and is being provided to our customers as a service. As errors can occur, you should contact NGC to determine the accuracy of this information. No item may be returned or refused based on the information provided.

CAC Pop Guide

Type 1 2 3 4 6 8 10 12 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 45+ 50 53 53+ 55 55+ 58 58+ 60 61 62 62+ 63 63+ 64 64+ 65 65+ 66 66+ 67 67+ 68 68+ 69 70 Total
Gold 1 1
Green 1 2 3 8 24 53 13 2 106

**NOTE. Information listed is intended to be as accurate as possible, and is being provided to our customers as a service. As errors can occur, you should contact CAC to determine the accuracy of this information. No item may be returned or refused based on the information provided.