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Near-Gem 1914-S Indian Half Eagle
Premier Condition Rarity
Ex: Thaine Price

1914-S $5 MS64 NGC. The 1914-S Indian half eagle is a prime condition rarity, tied with the 1912-S as the rarest issue of the series in high grade. When David Akers cataloged this identical coin in lot 35 of the Dr. Thaine B. Price Collection, he noted:

"The 1914-S Half Eagle is another classic example of a condition rarity. Although 263,000 were minted, not an especially low mintage even by Indian Head Half Eagle standards, apparently most were immediately placed into circulation since the majority of known specimens are in the EF to AU range. There are a number of Uncirculated pieces known, however, most of them from a small hoard of mint state examples that was uncovered some years ago. None of these pieces was of high quality, however, and in Choice Uncirculated or better condition, the 1914-S Half Eagle remains one of the least often available issues among all Twentieth Century United States gold coins. By today's strict grading standards, probably no more than two or three could legitimately be called Gems and only a handful of others match this specimen in terms of overall quality and appearance."

Recent population data confirms Akers' assessment of the rarity of this issue in high grade. Currently, PCGS has graded six coins in MS64 and two examples in MS64+, with none finer, while NGC has certified six specimens in MS64, one coin in MS65, and none finer (1/13).

This extraordinary coin displays vibrant mint luster on both sides, unusual for the 1914-S, which often comes with granular surfaces and muted mint luster. The design elements are sharply detailed and the mintmark is unusually bold and well-formed. The well-preserved surfaces exhibit delightful shades of green and orange-gold patina, with tremendous eye appeal. A vertical hairline just left of E in E PLURIBUS UNUM serves as a pedigree marker. This coin is tied with two other pieces for second place in David Akers list of Significant Examples. A comparable specimen may not become available for years.
Ex: Dr. Thaine B. Price Collection (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 35; Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 9/1998), lot 7150; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/1999), lot 8167.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 28DW, PCGS# 8529)

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Auction Dates
February, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 2
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