Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 53

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Lot 1457

1915-S Panama-Pacific Gold $50 Round. PCGS graded MS-63 PQ. Lovely natural toning on both sides. Only 483 struck. Lovely soft satiny gold luster on both sides with only a few light hairlines away from a higher grade. Always in demand. Smooth-as-silk natural luster graces the surface on the $50 Pan-Pacs, and is similar in texture to the luster found on the $2.50 gold pieces of this issue as well: satiny, dynamic golden surfaces throughout. What also sparks our interest is the even hue of gold that mingles broadly with rich artistic devices. An attractive specimen that shows off its bold themes proudly.

The goddess Minerva or Athena wears the crested helmet found on numerous depictions of her in ancient Greek coinage; it is pushed back off her face, to signify peaceful intentions. According to the Breen-Swiatek history of these important $50 coins, "We have not found the exact Greek coin used as prototype of this head, though the crested helmet is of the Athenian type, and there are numerous silver coins of Velia and Corinth showing her in this type of helmet, sometimes wreathed as here, often with other devices on it. Most such types have a long tailpiece to the crest, which is omitted here." On her shield is MCMXV (1915), only the second use of Roman numerals for date in United States coinage history up to that time (the first was the various types of Saint-Gaudens double eagles of 1907). Why Athena or Minerva? She was the goddess of wisdom, skill, agriculture -- with some adding in horticulture, spinning and weaving, crop rotation, among other things -- and she taught her followers to grow and use olives, whose oil was long indispensable in cooking and providing light by night. All these were important in early California. Pop 119; 89 finer; 80 in 64; 9 in 65. (PCGS # 7451) .
Estimated Value $60,000 - 65,000.
The Mark Gordon Collection.

Realized $63,250

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