101118 | UNITED STATES. Panama-Pacific Int'l Expo gilt bronze award Medal.
101118 | UNITED STATES. San Francisco, California. Panama-Pacific International Exposition gilt bronze award Medal. Issued 1915. Presented at the expo for the "gold" award (70mm, 132.18 g, 12h). By J. Flanagan.
Nude male and female (personifications of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans or eastern and western hemispheres) greeting one another as the sun rises over the Panama Canal in the background; DIVINE DISIVNCTA IVNXIT HOMO (the divine difference unites mankind) / PANAMA–PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION SAN-FRANCISCO / MCMXV, façade of the Tower of Jewels within wreath of palm fronds; MEDAL OF AWARD in garnished cartouche below. Edge: Plain.
Baxter 114; cf. Marqusee 150-152 (bronze and silvered bronze). Choice Mint State. Brilliant golden-yellow surfaces. Very rare this attractive and problem free.
Designed by the famous American sculptor John Flanagan (best known in U.S. numismatics as the designer of the Washington quarter), the Panama-Pacific medal was issued as an award for many products and exhibits on display at the expo. Just 2,000 of these were struck and issued in bronze by the U.S. mint, and are now often encountered with spotting, scuffs, and other blemishes. Far fewer were issued gilt as this one, meant to serve as the "gold" prize at the expo. The elegant design features personifications of the two oceans meeting, with the Panama Canal being at their middle. The expo itself was styled as a celebration of the completion of the canal (its first use was just six months before the opening of the expo), but in a wider sense, the fair gave the world a chance to see the recovery of host city San Francisco following the devastation of the 1906 earthquake.
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