1915-S $50 Pan-Pac Octagonal MS (PCGS# 7452)

The March 2011 Baltimore Auction

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Lot Description
1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50. Octagonal. MS-64 (PCGS). From the same source as the Panama-Pacific $50 Round in PCGS MS-63 that we are also offering in this sale, this Octagonal piece was acquired at the exposition in 1915 and retained in the same family until consigned to this auction. The coin has only recently been certified by PCGS, and it is making its first appearance in the numismatic market. Beautiful medium-gold surfaces are bright, "fresh," and possessed of full softly frosted luster. There is hardly even a single trivial sign of handling, and the eye appeal alone could easily support an even higher grade. An impressive near-Gem that is sure to raise paddles high on the auction floor in Baltimore.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The net mintage after melting for the Pan-Pac Octagonal Fifty is only 645 pieces. These coins, like their Round counterparts, were designed by Robert Aitken and display the goddess Minerva or Athena as the central design element on the obverse. The helmet pushed back over the top of her head signifies peaceful intentions, while her shield is inscribed with the date 1915 in Roman numerals. The obverse border is inscribed with the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above and the denomination FIFTY DOLLARS below, with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST in the upper-left field. Aitken's reverse depicts the owl of Athena, symbol of wisdom, perched atop a branch of ponderosa pine with the Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM in the right field. The inscription PANAMA-PACIFIC EXPOSITION is above and the&nbsp;location of the exposition SAN FRANCISCO is below, with the S mintmark of the San Francisco Mint tucked in behind the right-most pine cone. The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 was held to commemorate&nbsp;completion of the Panama Canal, so the extra dolphin border seen on the Octagonal (but not the Round) examples signifies the continuous waterway created by opening of the canal.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The coin we are offering
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