The Exchange : Help the ANA support a commemorative coin for the Panama Canal

Help the ANA support a commemorative coin for the Panama Canal



In July  H. R. 2760 was introduced. The bill will create a commemorative coin program to celebrate the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, which honored the completion of the Panama Canal and the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean by Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa. Proceeds from the sale of the commemorative coins will support the reuse of the San Francisco Mint.

Nearly 40,000 people worked on the construction of the Panama Canal from 1890 to 1914. The canal runs 51 miles long and connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The waterway is crucial to trade as it eliminates ships from traveling an extra 8,000 miles around the tip of South America or through the Strait of Magellan.



The canal opened on August 15, 1914. The following year, from February 20 to December 4, 1915, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, a world's fair, was held in San Francisco and commemorated the completion of the Panama Canal and the 400-year anniversary of the Spanish explorer Vasco Nunes de Balboa's discovery of the Pacific Ocean. Balboa was the first explorer to cross Panama.

In connection with the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, Congress authorized the United States Mint to issue five different coins dated 1915. These commemorative coins were the first United States commemorative coins to display the motto "In God We Trust." The five coins minted include $1, $2 ½ and $50 round coins as well as a unique $50 octagonal coin.

1915-Dollar -Pan Pac -COMPARISON-Obv

The bill, H. R. 2760, requires the coins to have a similar look to the original five coins issued for the opening of the Pan-Pacific Exposition and includes the minting of $5 octagonal gold coins, $5 round gold coins, $2 ½ gold coins, $1 gold coins and half dollar silver coins. Only one U.S. Mint facility location would be allowed to strike any particular quality of the coins, and the coins would also only be issued for a 1-year period starting January 1, 2017. The proceeds from the surcharge on the sale of the commemorative coins would assist in supporting the educational programs of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society for the design and construction of exhibitions in the San Francisco Museum, including the adaptive reuse of the Old Mint.

Please consider sending a letter or email asking your congressional representative to support this important numismatic legislation. Contact information can be found at, or click here for a sample letter to send or email your congressional representative.

Written by American Numismatic Association staff at 00:00

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