The Panama Pacific Exposition Gold Quarter Eagle was one of five different coins authorized to mark the international exposition held in San Francisco, California. The coins included two different $50 gold pieces, one $2.50 gold quarter eagle, one gold dollar, and one silver half dollar.
The obverse design of the quarter eagle features an image of Columbia, seated on a mythical creature known as the hippocampus, with a caduceus in her left hand. The hippocampus, which has the head of a horse and the tail of a dragon is intended to represent use of the Panama Canal, while the caduceus represents triumph over yellow fever during the canal’s construction. An inscription appears above “Panama Pacific Exposition” with the date “1915″ below.
An American Eagle perched on a stand is pictured on the reverse of the 1915-S Panama Pacific $2.50 Gold Coin. The stand includes the motto “E Pluribus Unum” with the denomination expressed as “2 1/2 Dol” below and “United States of America” above the eagle. The obverse of the coin was designed by Charles E. Barber, while the reverse was designed by George T. Morgan.
The Panama Pacific Quarter Eagles were limited to a maximum mintage of 10,000 coins. After some were returned for melting, the net distribution was 6,749. The coins were originally offered at $4 each, or as included in four or five coin sets issued during and briefly after the exposition. The coins were distributed by Coin and Medal Department, under the management of Farran Zerbe.
Panama Pacific Exposition Quarter Eagle Coin Specifications
Designer: Charles E. Barber (obverse), George T. Morgan (reverse)
Composition: 90% gold, 10% copper
Weight: 4.18 g
Diameter: 18 mm
Authorization: Public Law No. 63-233
Maximum Authorized Mintage: 10,000
Panama Pacific Exposition Quarter Eagle Mintage