Rare coin could be worth up to $75,000 thanks to historic link – but it needs to have ‘ambitious design’

A RARE coin has been valued at up to $75,000 thanks to a historic link, but it only reached its price point due to a design feature.

In 1915, the United States Congress approved the minting of the S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar coin made up of 90 percent gold and about 10 percent copper.

The 1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar coin is extremely rare


The 1915-S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar coin is extremely rareCredit: Heritage Auctions
Some of the coins have sold for around $75,000 or more


Some of the coins have sold for around $75,000 or moreCredit: Getty

The “ambitious” release was part of a commemorative program alongside the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco, California, the same year, per Heritage Auctions.

Officials brought in famed dealer Farran Zerbe and sculptor Robert Aitkin to assist in creating a gold dollar, silver half dollar, quarter eagle, and two versions of the fifty-dollar commemorative gold coin.

One was round, like most U.S. coins, but the other featured an octagonal design with edges.

Only about 645 octagonal pieces were ever distributed, one of which was recently sold at auction in November for over $70,000.

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The head side of the octagonal Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar features Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, with dolphins on the surrounding eight ages to symbolize the Panama Canal opening.

Surrounding Minerva is also the “United States of America Fifty Dollars” inscription, with “In God We Trust” near her helmet.

On the tail side is an owl perched on a Ponderosa Pine branch, along with “E Pluribus Unum,” which means “Out of many, one,” in Latin.

The circular text around the owl recognizes the San Francisco Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

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Depending on the grading of either the circular or octagonal versions of the 1915 S Panama-Pacific Fifty Dollar coin, some can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Some have listed originals on eBay for upwards of $254,000.

Rare Coin Wholesalers has one of the octagonal versions listed at $121,000.

It’s likely this coin wouldn’t be sitting in anyone’s spare change dish, but it’s worth a second look at any rare coins and valuable notes that may have been passed down in your family.


As The U.S. Sun previously reported, it’s also not the only coin that could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A particularly odd penny could be worth over $200,000, depending on its magnetism.

Coin expert Eric Miller (@thecoinchannel) analyzed a specific version of the penny, seemingly from 1943, in a recent video on TikTok.

Although he noted that the “3” on the year appeared to be smudged or different from the other numbers, leading him to believe it was originally an eight or nine.

If it’s an authentic 1943 penny, it could be worth a considerable amount of cash in comparison to a 1948 or 1949, according to Eric’s analysis.

“The difference is literally hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he explained.

To confirm it, the coin owner would need to see if it weighs exactly 3.1 grams and should not be able to stick to a magnet.

The owner might likely be disappointed after running the tests, given the rarity of 1943 pennies in 2024.

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For more related content, check out The U.S. Sun’s coverage of a dollar coin potentially worth $5 million.

The U.S. Sun also has the story of a silver coin won in a poker game that ended up being worth about $85,000.

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