The Panama Pacific International Exposition was held in 1915 to mark the opening of the Panama Canal and the rebuilding of San Francisco following an earthquake and fire. A program of five commemorative coins struck in gold and silver were authorized to mark the event.
The Panama Pacific Exposition Gold Dollar was the smallest sized gold coin of the program. The obverse design featured the head of a Panama Canal laborer wearing a cap, with the words “United States of America” before him and the date “1915” below. The reverse design depicts two dolphins circling the denomination “One Dollar” with the words “Panama Pacific Exposition San Francisco” around the edge. These designs were created by Charles Keck.
Commemorative coins were distributed by Farran Zerbe through his management of the Coin and Metal Department. Individual examples of each of the five issues were available, as well as four coin sets, five coin sets, and double sets. The individuals were sold within envelopes, while the sets were placed in leather or copper and glass display cases.
The 1915 Panama Pacific Gold Dollar was sold individually at a price of $2, the same price as the next most recent commemorative gold dollar issue. From the maximum authorized mintage of 25,000 coins, net distribution after melting was 15,000.
Panama Pacific Exposition Gold Dollar Coin Specifications
Designer: Charles Keck
Composition: 90% gold, 10% copper
Weight: 1.672 grams
Diameter: 15 mm
Authorization: Public Law No. 63-233
Maximum Authorized Mintage: 25,000
Panama Pacific Exposition Gold Dollar Mintage