In 1913, the Panama Canal was completed and a couple weeks later on January 7, 1914, the first ship sailed through the waterway. The ship was the Alexandre La Valley of France, which made the test journey months before the SS Ancon made the much more famous inaugural journey in August. This 1913 half dollar recalls the completion of one of the most significant engineering feats of the 20th century.
The Philadelphia Mint struck proof Half Dollars of the Barber type every year from 1892 through 1915. The first-year 1892 is a perennial favorite among type collectors, while the 1913, 1914 and 1915 enjoy strong market demand due to the limited mintages of their identically dated business strike counterparts.