"So-Called Dollars" Exonumia with a twist.
“So-Called Dollars” are a fascinating area of American numismatics. Struck to commemorate major expositions and other important events in the 19th and early 20th century these medals are charming pieces of exonumia. While not technically coins some were designed or engraved by some very heavy hitters in the numismatic world including Charles Barber and Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
This piece (HK 424) was struck to commemorate the Panama-Pacific exposition of 1915. Closely modeled on the famous $50 “slugs” of the California gold rush this medal is struck in gilt bronze and is of significant size (40mm x 40mm). The US government struck a plethora of commemorative coins for the Pan-Pac Expo including half dollars, $1 gold, $2.5 gold and of course the famous and incredibly scarce $50 round and octagonal gold coins. While the aforementioned $50 pieces frequently bring prices into the six figure range, these pieces while a R6 piece (21-75 known) can be had for around $300.
I've recently really enjoyed discovering and cataloging these pieces and I think this one is my absolute favorite!