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    1911-D Half Eagle, MS65
    Major Condition Census Rarity
    Not Seen This Fine in Nearly a Decade

    1911-D $5 MS65 PCGS. The 1911-D is without doubt one of the rarest half eagles in the Indian gold series at the Gem grade level. PCGS and NGC each list only two pieces in this grade (one of the PCGS coins is Plus designated) and none finer (5/20). None of these coins have appeared at auction in nearly a decade, and appearances prior to that are sparse.

    The rarity of the 1911-D in MS65 is compounded by the rarity of coins in the adjacent lower grades of MS64 and MS63. Since our Permanent Auction Archives began in 1993, we have handled an MS63 example of this issue on only nine occasions, and an MS64 coin on just 11 occasions. We have previously seen only two different Gem examples of the 1911-D, the most recent offering being that of the MS65+ O'Neal coin that appeared in our 2011 FUN Signature and realized a staggering $299,000 -- far and away an auction record for the issue. Before that, a Gem example in Bowers' 2006 ANA sale realized $241,500.

    The Simpson coin represents collectors' first chance to acquire a Condition Census example of this coveted issue in nearly a decade, and it is clearly one of the greatest Indian gold pieces in this offering. In his description for the Duckor specimen in Auction '90, David Akers wrote:

    "The 1911-D Half Eagle is a strong candidate for the rarest regular issue 20th Century U.S. gold coin in MS-64 or better condition, and, in fact, it may be the only issue of which there is not even at least one known specimen that is an unquestioned MS-65."

    Akers wrote that analysis during the infancy of third party grading, and in the decades that followed a number of Mint State pieces came out of the woodwork, including the aforementioned coins that have earned strong MS65 designations from PCGS and NGC. Yet, the sentiment expressed by Akers concerning the rarity of this issue in high grade stands resolute. Registry collectors typically acquire MS64 examples of this issue for the simple reason that Gems are almost never available. On the rare occasion when a Gem 1911-D comes on the market, the long-patient collector demand awakens. That is what drove the O'Neal coin to its previously unheard of price level, and it is what will possibly bring the Simpson coin a similar showing.

    Unhindered by surface abrasions, the lustrous surfaces radiate rich orange-gold and light rose hues. This coin is sharply struck, and close examination of the fields fails to reveal any objectionable abrasions. Only a loupe identifies microscopic marks that will serve as future pedigree markers. Eye appeal is outstanding. For a 1911-D half eagle, the technical and visual quality is unsurpassed. The 1911-D half eagle is one of the great condition rarities of the 20th century gold series, and this specimen stands in an elite group of pieces known as the Condition Census. Population: 2 in 65 (1 in 65+), 0 finer (5/20).

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 28DR, PCGS# 8521)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    Auction Info

    Bidding Begins Approx.
    22nd Thursday
    Auction Dates
    10th-16th Tuesday-Monday
    Proxy Bidding Begins Approx.
    267 Days
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: N/A
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 82
    Auction Type
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