High Grade Gem 1913-S Indian Five1913-S $5 MS65 NGC. Five dollar gold pieces struck at the San Francisco Mint in 1913 present a challenge to collectors for two reasons: the issue was poorly made and most of the mintage of coins entered circulation. Apparently, few were exported to repose in foreign bank holdings, unlike double eagles of the era. The typical '13-S survivor grades AU. As a result, relatively few examples are available above the MS62 level and, when found, the quality is usually substandard. The limited availability of this issue is further exacerbated by the fact that many pieces found their way into the melting pots of the late 1930s and subsequent years.
All of the above factors are reflected in the NGC Census Report. As of (6/09), the example offered here is the only 1913-S to be certified at the MS65 level, with two MS66 pieces graded finer. Even near-Gems are challenging, with just six coins thus graded at the MS64 tier.
Savvy numismatists understand that coins listed in the NGC and PCGS population totals do not necessarily represent available examples. In fact, the specimen offered here is the only MS65 or better 1913-S five to appear in a Heritage auction within the span of our Permanent Auction Archive, which dates to 1993. Even data compiled by John Dannreuther and Jeff Garrett in their Official Red Book of Auction Records, U.S. Gold Coins 2003-2007 failed to yield a single--all auction houses considered--appearance of a 1913-S half eagle grading finer than MS64, which further defines the issue as a condition rarity. Furthermore, it is apparent that high grade examples of this elusive date are held in firm hands when sold.
The mintmark on the current piece is weakly defined, although the balance of the design is crisp, including the periphery, which is often encountered with soft detail. The frosty surfaces display a subtle red tinge and have survived without suffering any objectionable abrasions or other visual distractions. This Gem offers connoisseur level quality that would please the fussiest of Indian half eagle aficionados.
From The Bay State Collection, Part Two.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 25ZP, PCGS# 8526)
Weight: 8.36 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
View all of [The Bay State Collection, Part Two ]
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