1914-S $5 MS65 PCGS. This Gem half eagle is one of...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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1914-S Half Eagle, MS65
1914-S $5 MS65 PCGS. This Gem half eagle is one of the most
important Indian gold pieces in the Simpson Collection. The 1914-S
is one of the great condition rarities of the Indian half eagle
series. A significant portion of the survivorship grades in XF or
AU condition, and in Mint State the vast majority of the population
ranks no finer than MS62. Select Uncirculated coins are scarce, and
anything finer is a major rarity.
Top of the Condition Census
The finest examples of this issue known grade MS65. PCGS and NGC each list two coins in this grade, but at least one of the NGC listings is a known duplication. Moreover, only two Gem examples of this issue have ever appeared at auction. Most recently, a PCGS example appeared in a June 2016 Goldberg sale, realizing more than $146,000. Before that, no Gem 1914-S five appeared at auction since the last offering of this piece in our February 2005 Long Beach Signature.
This coin is the famous Duckor specimen, first recognized in David Akers' Auction '90, where it was heralded as the finest 1914-S known. At the time, the coin was raw but was described as MS65+. Akers wrote:
"This is the FINEST KNOWN 1914-S $5 and the only true gem known to us. Just compare it to the beautiful slabbed MS-64 1914-S that appears later in our session (which is itself one of the three or four finest known) and you can easily see that this coin is distinctly superior, at least a point better if not two points. The outstanding appearance of this coin, as well as its rarity, cannot be overemphasized. Most 1914-S Half Eagles are not particularly attractive but this amazing coin looks just like a super 1908-S! A numismatic prize and one of the principle highlights of this non-pareil collection."
This coin's standing as finest known is challenged only by one, maybe two other Gem 1914-S fives. For Registry collectors, there is no better opportunity to acquire this issue. Akers' description of this piece's eye appeal and technical merits needs little expansion. The luminous Gem surfaces radiate frosty orange-gold and yellow luster, illuminating boldly rendered design elements. Remarkably few abrasions are seen in the elevated fields, and eye appeal is truly spectacular for this issue. Population: 2 in 65, 0 finer (5/20).
Ex: Auction '90 (Akers, 8/1990), lot 1817; Pittsburgh Signature (Heritage, 8/2004), lot 7399; Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 2/2005), lot 8708.
Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28DW, PCGS# 8529)
Weight: 8.36 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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