Louis Golino has been a collector of American and world coins since childhood and has written about coins since 2009. He writes about modern coins and other numismatic issues for Coin World. He is a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum.
In 2012 and
2013 legislation was introduced in the U.S. Congress calling for 4 and 5-coin
programs that would be issued to mark the 100
anniversary of the
famous Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915.
The expo was held to celebrate the years of
work it took to complete the Panama Canal, which opened just before the expo
coins included $5 gold versions of the legendary round and octagonal $50 gold
coins that were part of the original, 1915 set of Panama-Pacific Exposition
coins struck by the U.S. Mint as well as modern versions of the half dollar,
dollar, and $2.50 coins issued back then.
the Congress never passed either bill, so these coins were never struck. Back when they were proposed there appeared
to be substantial interest in a modern tribute to the iconic 1915 issues, which
are the most valuable and unusual commemorative coins ever issued by our mint.
But it turns
out collectors who want to own a modern version of the 1915 $50 gold coins are
in luck after all.
Mart (www.moderncoinmart.com) and
its parent company, Asset Marketing Services, have released a beautiful 2-ounce
gilt proof Panama-Pacific International Exposition Centennial coin under the
legal authority of Niue that has a mintage of 1,915 coins to represent the year
the expo was held.
of the coin that are selectively gilt (or gold-plated) represent the round $50
coin, while the silver elements of the design and its overall shape are a
tribute to the octagonal $50 coin.
Collectors will be pleased to see the effigy of Queen Elizabeth has been
made smaller than usual to free up space on the coin’s obverse.
The coin was
designed by MCM’s Charles Daughtrey, their in-house coin and round designer,
and art and marketing director, as a tribute to one of the most historically
significant U.S. commemorative issues.
Mr. Daughtrey’s previous work includes, among others, a series of coins
that honors famous designers of American coins, which so far include coins for
Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Adolph Weinman.
The Niue coin
was struck by PAMP Suisse, the well-regarded Swiss precious metal refiner that
produces high-quality bars as well as coins for various countries such as the
popular Niue Lunar year 5-ounce silver gilt series.
The coin is
likely to appeal to both modern and classic coin collectors, especially to
those who always wanted to own one of the valuable and low mintage $50 gold
coins but could not afford them. The
originals cost a minimum of $50,000 each.
selling the coin in NGC-graded proof 69 and proof 70 examples that come in a
wooden display box and include educational information on the certificate of