Roger Burdette submitted these notes on the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition commemoratives without mintmarks, Thanks!
The initial sets of working dies for all denominations were intentionally prepared with no mintmark, and the dollar dies had arrived at the San Francisco Mint when the omission was discovered. Philadelphia Mint Superintendent Adam Joyce had ordered the engraving department not to include the “S” mintmark because the law required all of the coins to be struck at San Francisco. Thus, he felt an “S” mintmark was superfluous. Mint Director Robert Woolley realized that the mintmark was a source of local pride in San Francisco and had all dies recalled and the “S” added.
Pieces in copper/bronze and correct metals were likely made as engineering test pieces for design approval. Pieces struck in incorrect metals, such as half dollars in gold, would not have been authorized and reasons for their manufacture are speculative. [See Renaissance of American Coinage 1909-1915, pp.290-293 for more information.]
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
ERIC NEWMAN'S 1915 NO S PANAMA-PACIFIC HALF DOLLARS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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