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    Description

    Premium Gem 1916-S Half Eagle
    Only the Single O'Neal Example Finer at PCGS

    1916-S $5 MS66 PCGS. CAC. With the buildup to the Great War and the beginning of hostilities, international trade stilled, and the United States, despite its professed neutrality at the start, experienced its own consequences. As demand for American gold coinage dwindled, so did total mintages for various denominations. For half eagles, production across all mints stayed nearly steady from 1914 to 1915, but only San Francisco struck five dollar gold pieces in 1916, and its mintage of 240,000 pieces was less than a third of the previous year's total. The half eagle was also the last denomination to resume production, with the isolated issue of 1929 acting as both its return and its farewell.
    Despite its low mintage, the 1916-S is available for a price in lesser Mint State grades; Garrett and Guth (2006) allude to a hoard of hundreds of examples. Better representatives, however, prove elusive; while even Gems command only a minor premium over type, MS66 coins are highly coveted and in exceedingly short supply. NGC and PCGS have graded only five such pieces including a single MS66+ that we offered in the Jim O'Neal Collection (Heritage, 1/2011), lot 5155, with none finer in the combined certified populations (11/11). That coin brought a strong $97,750.
    The coloration of this outstanding MS66 PCGS example is its most striking feature, with warm orange-gold surfaces that shift to sun-yellow and rose at parts of the margins. The devices are sharply struck, and the only softness is present on the mintmark. Though a handful of tiny flaws are evident, the overall preservation of this piece is magnificent, and the eye appeal is simply marvelous. Though Heritage has offered this issue in the past, it is impossible to say when an opportunity to acquire an MS66 (or MS66+) representative may come again.
    Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2008), lot 3230, which realized $57,500.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 28DY, PCGS# 8532)


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2012
    3rd-8th Tuesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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