100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

US To Mint Coins For World’s Fair

The proposed octagonal $50 gold piece commemorating the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition

The proposed octagonal $50 gold piece commemorating the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition

The Panama–Pacific International Exposition is a world’s fair that will be held in San Francisco between February 20 and December 4 in 1915. It will celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal and will be held in conjunction with the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego. It will give San Francisco a chance to show the world it has recovered from the devastating 1906 Earthquake. The fair will be constructed on a 635 acre site in San Francisco, along the northern shore near the entrance to the San Francisco Bay known as the Golden Gate.

The planned layout of the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco

The planned layout of the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco

Farran Zerbe was the President of the American Numismatic Association from 1908 to 1910 and holds the position of the Exposition’s official Coin and Medal department. He has put forth a proposal for the US Mint in San Francisco to produce five different coins to commemorate the event. These coins include a silver half dollar, gold dollar, gold quarter-eagle, and two huge fifty-dollar gold coins, the first ever produced by a US Mint. One of the fifty-dollar pieces was to be round and one octagonal. These coins would have a new motto that has never appeared on US coins before : IN GOD WE TRUST.

Farran Zerbe

Farran Zerbe

On January 16, 1915 the US Congress gave approval for the commemorative coins for the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition to be minted. Zerbe has been given the right to market and distribute them.

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