Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

U.S. Mint, San Francisco  Search this
Physical Description:
gold (overall metal)
0 (overall die axis)
0 (overall die axis measurement)
struck (overall production method)
overall: .2 cm x 4.5 cm; 3/32 in x 1 25/32 in
Object Name:
Place of issue:
United States: California, San Francisco
Date made:
United States Mint, San Francisco. Obverse: Bust of Liberty as goddess Athena facing left. She wears a crested helmet and carries a shield with the date 1915 in Roman numerals. Reverse: Owl seated on pine bough (the owl was the bird associated with Athena). On this octagonal version, there are eight small dolphins at the eight points of the octagon. Designed by Robert Aitken, these coins were part of an elaborate attempt to raise money for the Panama-Pacific Exposition, held in San Francisco between February and December 1915. In turn, the exposition was intended to celebrate the completion and opening of the Panama Canal in the previous year. The dolphins were on both sides of this octagonal version because they were friendly companions of the vessels making the trip from one ocean to another, via the new Isthmian waterway.
Currently not on view
Related event:
Panama-Pacific International Exposition  Search this
Related Publication:
Glossary of Coins and Currency Terms
Related Web Publication:
Credit Line:
Chase Manhattan
ID Number:
Catalog number:
Accession number:
See more items in:
Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
Coins, Currency and Medals
Data Source:
National Museum of American History