US Coins

What one of finest Pan-Pac quarter eagles sold for

By all accounts the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco from Feb. 20 to Dec. 4, 1915, was magnificent.

The fair cele­brated the completion of the Panama Canal, but also served as a very public display of the city’s recovery after a devastating 1906 earthquake. Like the 1892 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the buildings built for the San Francisco exposition were constructed with temporary materials so most of the buildings are long gone, but the fair lives on through classic commemorative coins.  

Here is one of three sold during Heritage’s 2017 FUN auctions that we profile in this Market Analysis:

The Lot:

1915-S Panama-Pacific Expo Commemorative gold $2.50 quarter eagle, MS-67, CAC

The Price:


The Story:

Like the half dollar, the 1915-S Panama-Pacific Expo commemorative gold $2.50 quarter eagle was a collaboration: Charles Barber designed the obverse, depicting a hippocampus carrying Columbia, and George Morgan showcased another sturdy eagle on the reverse.

It is an issue that “comes nice” with the majority of certified examples falling in the MS-64 to MS-66 range. In MS-67 the population thins substantially, and none is certified finer than MS-67+.

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This Numismatic Guaranty Corp. MS-67 example has a green CAC sticker and is one of the finest known of a total mintage of 6,749 pieces. It sold for $8,812.50 at Heritage’s 2017 Florida United Numismatists convention auctions, perhaps a bit disappointing when one considers that it brought $14,100 when it last sold, at a March 2013 Heritage sale.

Analyzing more Pan-Pac items sold at FUN:

Pan-Pac medal soldSold for nearly $200,000, this Pan-Pac gold ‘slug’ is a show-stopper:The octagonal Panama-Pacific International Exposition gold $50 “slugs” are show-stoppers for collectors and noncollectors alike.

Toned Pan-Pac half dollarMultiple hues grace this 1915 Pac-Pan commemorative half dollar sold at FUN:Examples often showcase beautiful rainbow toning that highlights Charles Barber’s pretty obverse and George Morgan’s handsome reverse design.

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