|The Panama-California Exposition was held in San Diego, California during 1915 and 1916 to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal. Although not as well-known as the Panama-Pacific Exposition held in San Francisco during 1915, the Panama-California Exposition was well attended. Official medals were produced for the exposition and struck at the United States Mint exhibit on the fair grounds. These official medals were designed by C.K. Berryman, then a cartoonist for the Washington Star, and were engraved by Charles Barber. The medals feature the very popular obverse design of Uncle Sam with his shovel lying across the Panama Canal. The reverse design of the first ship to pass through the Panama Canal, the S.S. Ancon, is also well executed. The official medals were struck in silver, bronze and gilt and examples dated both 1915 and 1916 were minted. This example of the 1915 Panama-California Expo Gilt Official Medal is listed as HK-428 in the Hibler-Kappen book on So-Called Dollars and has been graded MS65 by PCGS and is encapsulated in one of the newer-style edge-view holders. The medal is a bright and lustrous straw gold color that is quite appealing. Only a couple of tiny discolorations are of note and keep this piece from perfection. A wonderful gem example of this popular so-called dollar.
Because of the difficulty in capturing the overall look of the coin in a single image, I have also included a short high-definition video of the coin towards the bottom of this listing in an attempt to give you a better idea of what this coin will look like in hand. Please note that you may need to adjust the video quality to 1080p and may need to increase the size of the video to full screen in order to see the coin in maximum detail.