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    1916-S Indian Head Five, MS66+
    Tied With One Other as Finest Known

    1916-S $5 MS66+ PCGS. CAC. Ex: Simpson. 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. This was the last coinage of the half eagle denomination until 1929 and the final San Francisco production of this series entirely.

    Despite its limited mintage, the 1916-S is available today in lower Mint State grades, albeit for a price. Even in MS64, examples are occasionally seen. However, Gems are decidedly rare, and in finer condition the 1916-S is among the greatest condition rarities in the series. The Condition Census is comprised of six Premium Gems on the certified population reports, including four coins at PCGS (two of which are Plus graded) and two at NGC (5/20). Of these, as many as three may be duplications. To our knowledge, only three different Premium Gems have ever been offered at public auction. An MS66 PCGS coin traded hands in Stack's Bowers' November 2016 Baltimore sale. The storied Jim O'Neal specimen -- the other Plus-graded piece at PCGS -- appeared at auction on four occasions between 2007 and 2011, but has not been seen publicly since. Finally, the present coin has made two prior auction appearances, but has not been seen publicly since our 2012 FUN Signature, where it realized a near-record price of $92,000. This piece and the O'Neal coin are the only Premium Gem 1916-S half eagles to achieve CAC endorsement, both having held that distinction for nearly a decade.

    The coloration of this piece 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. Population: 4 in 66 (2 in 66+), 0 finer. CAC: 2 in 66, 0 finer (8/20).
    Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2008), lot 3230; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2012), lot 4942.(Registry values: N10218)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28DY, PCGS# 8532)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2020
    17th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 633

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