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    Modern Numismatics

    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.

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  • Panama-Pacific Exposition Centennial Coin Released

    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 100th 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 was held.

    The proposed 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.

    Unfortunately, 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.

    Modern Coin 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.

    The portions 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.

    MCM is 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 authenticity.