1915-S Panama-Pacific half dollar a collector favorite with a reasonable price tag

Lower grade commemorative half dollar offers nice value for collectors
By , Coin World
Published : 04/07/15
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Classic-era commemorative silver coins from 1892 to 1954 were made for collectors and were not intended to circulate. Some did, as the many circulated 1892 and 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition half dollars that are available today for a modest premium over their silver value show. Occasionally, lower-grade circulated commemorative coins can be found, beyond the typically encountered types such as the 1923-S Monroe Doctrine Centennial half-dollar. Oh, what stories these coins could share!

The Coin 

1915-S Panama-Pacific International Exposition half dollar, Very Good 8

The Price 


The Story

Despite a relatively low distribution of 27,134 pieces, this issue is found in lightly circulated grades with some frequency. The gorgeous obverse design by Charles E. Barber depicts the goddess Columbia. Combined with George T. Morgan’s handsome reverse, it is a collector favorite.

It’s also expensive with Mint State representatives starting at around $500. This example, graded Very Good 8 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., is about the least expensive example one can find. It sold for $152.75 at a Feb. 10 Heritage auction. NGC has graded just one in this grade and Professional Coin Grading Service has graded just two examples in Very Good 8.

Another example graded NGC Very Fine 20 sold for $141 at a March 8 Heritage auction.

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