From the NGC Archives: 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition Fifty Dollar Piece Octagonal Edition

Posted by Collectors Society on 5/7/2010

This choice specimen is a splendid example of a rare and highly desired type.

Of the various world’s fairs held in the United States since 1876, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition is among the most memorable. Hosted by San Francisco in 1915, only a single structure survives from that great event, yet the Palace of Fine Arts remains dear to the hearts of residents and tourists alike.

Aside from the United States Assay Office slugs minted in the early 1850s, the Panama-Pacific coins of 1915 represent the only issue of this largest US denomination. The octagonal shape of this variety is a tribute to that pioneer coinage, and it proved slightly the more popular of the two varieties issued. This choice specimen is a splendid example of a rare and highly desired type. Its surfaces have a characteristically satin-like luster and are very clean for such a large and heavy coin. Its tiny mintmark S was double-punched.

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