Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 51

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Lot 1764

1915-S Panama-Pacific Gold $50 Octagonal. PCGS graded MS-64. Lovely golden toning. A very choice satiny specimen, boldly struck on the key devices and showing the stylized leafy motif of a wreath on Minerva's helmet (a high point on the design). Only 645 struck.

On June 15, 1915, the first octagonal pieces were struck. During the months of June, July and August, the remaining gold fifties were coined. According to Arlie Slabaugh, after the first 62 round fifties were coined, the dies broke in striking the 63rd -- as did the remaining pairs of dies then on hand. Coinage had to be delayed until more dies arrived from Philadelphia.

The authorizing act specified 3,000 fifties: 1,500 each of the octagonal and round types. Sales went well enough to convince the authorities to strike the entire authorization, with 9 extras reserved for assay of the octagonal type, 10 extras of the round. However, the high prices of these coins severely limited the numbers to be sold. According to Exposition price lists, a single $50 coin could be had for $100, but this price entitled the buyer to the half dollar, dollar and quarter eagle free of additional charge. Pop 118; 17 in 65, 1 in 66 (PCGS # 7452) .
Estimated Value $65,000 - 70,000.

Realized $77,050

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