Bonhams : 1915-S Panama-Pacific Five Coin Set with Original Case of Issue

1915-S Panama-Pacific Five Coin Set with Original Case of Issue

Included are: 1915-S $50 Octagonal MS62 PCGS; 1915-S $50 Round MS62 PCGS; 1915-S $2.50 MS65 PCGS; 1915-S $1 MS65 PCGS; 1915-S 50C MS63 PCGS; and the original case of issue. All coins were graded at PCGS many years ago and still reside in their early green label holders. In fact, close examination reveals the two $50 coins appear to be somewhat finer than their assigned (conservative) grades at the time. Varying amounts of light patina are seen on each of the gold coins, the silver half dollar is moderately toned as is typical for this issue. Personal inspection is recommended.

The five thematic coins issued for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition stand at the apex of American commemoratives. In all, 60,000 half dollars were coined, of which 34 were retained for assay. Of the 59,966 pieces available, only 27,100 coins were eventually sold, while the remainder were subsequently melted at the Mint. A total of 25,034 gold dollars were coined, of which 34 were used for assay and the balance all sold. Just 10,017 quarter eagles were struck, of which 17 were set aside for assay, leaving 10,000 available for purchase. Of these, only 6,750 pieces were sold, the rest were later melted. Turning next to the two prestige denominations in the set, A total of 1,509 Octagonal $50 coins were struck, of which nine were required for assay, 646 pieces were actually sold, and the remainder went to the melting pot. There were 1,510 Round $50 pieces including 10 for assay, but only 483 coins were actually sold. For the coining of the massive $50 pieces, a hydraulic press weighing approximately14 tons, with a striking power of 450 tons, ordinarily used at the Philadelphia Mint for the minting of medals, was shipped by rail to the San Francisco Mint for this special occasion.

Historic note: many original Panama-Pacific International Exposition sets were removed from their cases and / or frames. As a result, many cases of issue were subsequently lost or destroyed. It is now rare to find a complete set with an original leather case for the five coin Panama-Pacific Commemorative set. The case, itself, is in very good condition with unfaded purple velvet, and the original insert card of issue which is crisp and without foxing or paper stains. The original paper outside housing is NOT INCLUDED. Original leather cases, such as this, are eagerly sought as integral parts to complete the Panama-Pacific Commemorative set. A lovely, well balanced set. Arguably, the most popular U.S. commemorative set ever issued.

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