Pan-Pac $50 - Round
Congress authorized a series of commemorative coins along with $50 million for an exposition to be held in San Francisco to mark the completion of the Panama Canal. Only 3,000 of these fifty dollar pieces were struck, with the legislation providing for half to be round and half to be octagonal. However, only 645 of the octagonals and 483 of the rounds were sold. The rest were melted in November, 1916. New York sculptor Robert Aitken was selected to design both coins, his first attempt at coin design. Critics felt that the designs lacked any 'American' elements but were successful in combining classical Greek motifs with modern coinage.