Stack's Bowers - The March 2011 Baltimore Auction Lot #6112

  • PCGS
  • 63
  • CAC
  • N

1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Round. MS-63 (PCGS).

"Fresh" and Original 1915-S Pan-Pac $50 Round

We are delighted to be offering a pair of Panama-Pacific Fifty-Dollar Commems in this sale that were obtained at the exposition in 1915 and passed down through the family that consigned them to this auction. Both coins -- the PCGS MS-63 Round in this lot and the PCGS MS-64 Octagonal -- were newly certified for this sale and are making their first appearance in the numismatic market. The Round we are offering here is wonderfully original with warm, even, orange-gold color to both sides. The luster exhibits a lovely, softly frosted texture interrupted only by a trace of minor handling in and around the central obverse that accounts for the grade. We stress, however, that the central obverse of Round Pan-Pac Fifties almost always displays some degree of handling, and a lack of sizeable or otherwise individually conspicuous abrasions for this coin is a particularly praiseworthy attribute for the type. A "fresh" and completely original piece that is sure to arouse the interest of advanced collectors and other veteran bidders.     The Panama-Pacific Exposition Fifty-Dollar gold coins are key issues to completion of a set of classic United States Commemoratives. These coins were authorized for sale at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, and 1,500 examples of both the Round and Octagonal variants were produced. The coins were sold at the exposition for $100 each (which price also entitled the buyer to receive an example of the Pan-Pac Half Dollar, Gold Dollar and Quarter Eagle). The Fifties were also offered as part of complete five-piece Panama-Pacific Commemorative coin sets ($200/set) and ten-piece double sets ($400/double set). These asking prices proved too high for many exposition attendees, however, and a large number of Fifties remained unsold at the close of the event. Despite the efforts of Farran Zerbe -- the best-known numismatist in the United States at that time -- to market the coins after the exposition ended, most pieces were eventually forwarded to the Mint for melting. More Round examples were destroyed than Octagonal, the perceived uniqueness of the shape of the latter pieces explaining why a few more Octagonal coins were sold to the contemporary public. The net mintage for the Round Pan-Pac $50 is a mere 483 pieces, with survivors particularly elusive in the finer Mint State grades.     The coin we are offering in this lot comes with the original black leather case in which it was acquired at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915. The case is in VF condition with a fully functional clasp and no significant detractions apart from the fact that the sides of the lid are damaged. (Total: 2 items)

PCGS#: 7451