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    Bold, Silver-White 1901-S Quarter, MS67
    None Finer at NGC

    1901-S 25C MS67 NGC. The 1901-S Barber quarter issue spells "m-a-g-i-c" for the many aficionados of this series, of a lower mintage than the 1896-S, and with far fewer saved than the 1913-S, which had a smaller production but was the subject of some contemporary hoarding. The 1901-S Barber quarter has something in common with the also-coveted 1916-D Mercury dime, in that both pieces are seen usually in the lower circulated grades, with a few nice Mint State pieces around. Both are, however, quite elusive in the middle circulated grades, particularly VF-AU.
    In the highest Mint State reaches, as here, the number of surviving 1901-S quarters becomes almost a matter of sheer conjecture. David and John Feigenbaum wrote in The Complete Guide to Certified Barber Coinage (1999):

    "The 31 mint state coins showing up on the pop reports are almost certainly an overstatement. No coin in the Barber series is resubmitted to the grading services more than the 1901-S. We have personally handled two MS64, three MS65 and one each of the MS66 & 67 specimens; as well as a couple of the lower mint state examples. Beyond knowing that they were all different coins, we can't render a guess as to the actual number of mint state pieces."

    While the numbers have changed since those words were written, its intent today is as true as ever. The incredible demand for the issue in Mint State and the considerable monetary incentives created by one-point upgrades and other TPG kickers ensures the likelihood that there are far fewer 1901-S quarters in high grades than the population figures reflect. For what it is worth, PCGS shows a total of 30 examples (or "certification events," to borrow Bowers' memorable term) in Mint State, ranging from MS61 to a single MS68+ (with two pieces in MS67 and one in MS67+). NGC has 13 certification events, ranging from MS62 to two pieces (including the present example) in MS67 as the finest (6/12).
    In other words, the combined certified population at the MS67 numerical grade level is a mere five coins, with the possibility of duplications. This piece, like most 1901-S Barber quarters, shows a couple of wispy die cracks through the lower obverse. One runs through the left truncation of the bust, with a second tiny crack through the 1 in the date and the first two stars. Another faint crack runs from above the last 1 to the right truncation, through the last two stars. The silver-white surfaces are full of satiny luster and are free of any distraction, as expected. Enormous eye appeal is present. A tiny patch of grayish toning between star 3 and the rim serves as a pedigree marker. The strike is bold, showing a touch of weakness only on the right shield corner and eagle's right (facing) claw on the reverse. A coin with immense potential. Census: 2 in 67, 0 finer (6/12).
    From The Aberg Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 23YR, PCGS# 5630)

    Weight: 6.25 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2012
    2nd-5th Thursday-Sunday
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