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Santa Clara features Pan-Pac set

A set of 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition commemorative coins, valued at $700,000, is returning to California
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A set of 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition commemorative coins, valued at $700,000, is returning to California?s Bay area for the first time in 91 years.

The coins will be exhibited during the Santa Clara Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, scheduled to be held in the Santa Clara, Calif., Convention Center, March 30 - April 1.

?This outstanding exhibit showcases five superb condition gold and silver coins, registered by Pan-Pac officials as the sixth of 24 original complete sets made at the time,? said Ronald J. Gillio, expo general chairman.

Originally sold for $200 in 1915, the set will be displayed courtesy of Steven L. Contursi, president of Rare Coin Wholesalers, Dana Point, Calif., who currently values it at $700,000.

Other display items include the original copper and glass frame and original box that housed the coins when they were sold.

A $200 invoice to a buyer in Kansas dated July 29, 1915, signed by Farran Zerbe, chief of the Coin and Medal Department for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition indicating this is set number 6 out of 24 will also be shown, as will the June 8, 1940, signed letter and $575 invoice from Texas dealer B. Max Mehl, who resold the set to a Los Angeles buyer.

Lastly, the exhibition will also include an original booklet from the exposition held in San Francisco from Feb. 20 through Dec. 4, 1915.

The coins in the 1915-S Pan-Pac set in the exhibit are certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation as follows: a silver half dollar, graded MS-66; a gold $1, MS-67; a gold $2.50, MS-67; a gold $50 octagonal, MS-65; and a gold $50 round, MS-67.

Co-sponsoring the expo is eBay, which will present two educational seminars entitled, ?Buying and Selling on eBay.? They will be conducted by eBay consultant Troy Thoreson at noon on both Friday and Saturday, March 31 and April 1.

More than 500 dealers are expected in areas such as rare coins, bank notes, stamps and postcards, historical documents and other collectibles.
The Cupertino Coin Club will display educational exhibits and there will be a children?s treasure hunt on April 1.

Conducting the official show auction will be Superior Galleries of Beverly Hills, Calif.

Public hours are Thursday, March 30, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, March 31 and April 1, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $6, good for all three days). Seniors and children between 8 and 16 will be charged $3. Children 7 and under are admitted free.

Free parking is available at the Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway.

For more information, between March 29 - April 1, call (408) 748-7055, or visit