Boxed Panama-Pacific coin set makes $222,500

A boxed set of the 1915-S Panama-Pacific issue led an auction of US coins at Bonhams Los Angeles.

It realised $222,300 in the September 6 sale.

Panama Pacific set
The set was issued at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco

The denominations run from $50 to 50c and were issued and sold at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, which celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal.

All are graded between MS62 and MS65.

There are two $50 coins in the issue - one round, the other octagonal.

The round variant is the rarer of the two, as it was less exotic and thus sold in smaller numbers. The excess coins were melted down after the event.  

In July a single MS64-graded round 1915-S Panama-Pacific sold for $88,125.

The lower denominations are much more common, but still pull in five figure sums at higher grades.

Boxed sets are rare in any condition, as Bonhams explains that "many original Panama-Pacific International Exposition sets were removed from their cases and/or frames.

"As a result, many cases of issue were subsequently lost or destroyed. It is now rare to find a complete set with an original leather case for the five coin Panama-Pacific Commemorative set."

Other highlights included an 1858-O $20, which made $51,480.

It's one of between 150 and 175 survivors, making it one of the rarer issues in the New Orleans double eagle series.

Check out all our amazing range of rare coins for sale here.

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