Only 1 Graded Higher – 1941-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar NGC MS67

The 1941-S is the key issue from the “short set” of 1941 to 1947 Walking Liberty halves. The wartime West Coast issue is less rare than its reputation in grades through MS66, but Superb Gems, such as the one offered here, are unquestionably rare relative to Registry demand for the popular series. The NGC population is 52 with a single (MS67+) example graded higher. Listed at $38,400 in the CDN CPG and $15,000 in the NGC price guide.

Offered at $8,500

Tied for Highest Graded – 1935-S Texas PCGS MS68

With 10,000 coins distributed to collectors (and eight pieces reserved for assay), the 1935-S Texas commemorative half dollar fails to distinguish itself as a rarity in the series. Indeed, examples are plentiful through most grades, including MS63 all the way up through MS67. It is at this stratospheric level, however, that the issue becomes a genuine condition rarity.

The PCGS population is just 6 with none graded higher.

Listed at $11,200 in the CDN CPG and $14,000 in the PCGS price guide.

Offered at $9,600

Tied for Highest Graded – 1884 Seated Liberty Dime PCGS MS68

Unlike the quarters and halves, a large number of dimes were struck in 1884. In fact, more than 3.3 million pieces were produced. Despite the large mintage, surprisingly few coins were set aside in the ultimate grades. This particular example offers highly attractive ocean-blue peripheries with golden-brown and red fields. While typical mint state survivors certainly aren’t rare, at the MS68 level this date is a formidable conditional rarity,

The PCGS population is only 3 with none graded higher.

Listed at $17,500 in the PCGS price guide

Offered at $11,800

Only 2 Graded Higher – 1854 Arrows Seated Liberty Quarter NGC PR65

All 1854 Seated Liberty quarters show arrows at the date to signify a weight change in the denomination that was instituted the year before. The 1853-dated quarters also displayed a glory of rays on the reverse, but that feature was eliminated in 1854 because of striking problems and die breakage. The Arrows design was continued in 1855, then eliminated, creating an extremely popular two-year subtype.

Accounts of the precise rarity of the 1854 Arrows quarter proof issue vary to a certain extent, but all agree that it is very rare at a minimum, with no more than 12 to 15 known (according to David Akers, writing for the Pittman catalog in 1998) or around 10 (according to Walter Breen). PCGS CoinFacts estimates 10 to 15 pieces known.

The NGC population is only 2 with 2 graded higher.

Listed at $21,600 in the CDN CPG and $25,000 in the NGC price guide.

Offered at $21,900

1908 Indian Half Eagle NGC MS66

Collectors will find the 1908 to be among the most plentiful Indian half eagles in Gem and better condition, even while some other dates such as the 1909-D are more available overall. The higher Gem population of the 1908 is due to the first-year-of-issue status of this date, which historically resulted in more widespread preservation of examples due to the novelty of the new design. Even so, the 1908 Indian is conditionally rare in MS66, and just a handful of finer pieces are known.

The NGC population is 14 with 7 graded higher.

Listed at $24,000 in the NGC price guide.

Offered at $20,300

Just 2 Graded Higher – 1884 Seated Liberty Quarter NGC PR68 Cameo

Only 8,875 quarters were struck in 1884 including 875 proofs, one of the lowest total production runs in the entire Seated quarter series. While this PR68 Cameo specimen is especially rare as a Proof, it is a piece of singular beauty and conditionally quite rare. Brilliant, glassy-mirrored silver fields surround frost-white devices on both sides of this exceptional example .

The NGC population is 3 with 2 graded higher.

Listed at $11,200 in the CDN CPG and $14,500 in the NGC price guide.

Offered at $11,800

Very Rare 1870–CC 50C Seated Liberty Half Dollar NGC AU55

The Carson City Mint opened for business in 1870. That year, it struck 11,758 silver dollars and 54,617 half dollars. From those figures, one might conclude that the 1870-CC dollar is rarer than its half dollar counterpart. But more dollars were set aside, and the 1870-CC half is certainly the greater rarity, as can be confirmed by both the NGC and PCGS Population reports. It is, in fact, the rarest Carson City half dollar issue.

The NGC population is a mere 2 with 6 graded higher.

Listed at $38,400 in the CDN CPG and $44,500 in the NGC price guide.

Offered at $34,000

Only 2 Graded Higher – Ever Popular 1856 S-9 Flying Eagle Cent NGC PR66

The most famous issue of the one cent denomination from the 1850s is the key 1856 Flying Eagle cent that was issued in extremely limited quantities during the transition from the large copper cents that were issued from 1793 to 1857. The Mint was looking for an alternative to the bulky and expensive-to-produce cents of prior years. After numerous trials, they settled on the small size that remains the same today, and they chose a composition of 88% copper and 12% nickel. The new composition resulted in a coin that was much lighter in appearance than the earlier coins.

Snow-9 is the typical variety encountered among proof 1856 Flying Eagle cents. Its availability, though, does not lessen its appeal to collectors, most of whom simply want a single, attractive example of this key date. The variety is also conditionally scarce at the Gem grade level, and it is rare finer.

The NGC population is only 3 with 2 graded higher.

Listed at $60,000 in the CDN CPG and $62,500 in the NGC price guide.

Offered at $45,000

Just 1 Graded Higher (and Barely) – 1861 Gold Dollar PCGS MS67

Like other gold denominations, gold dollars were minted in generous quantities in 1861, a year that saw a large influx of the yellow metal from out West. After the outbreak of the Civil War, gold and silver were quickly driven out of circulation by hoarding, so it is unsurprising to find that the 1861, with its mintage of 527,150 pieces, is readily collectible in Mint State grades through MS62 and MS63. Even near-Gems do not pose much of an issue. The certified population thins out in MS65 and drops precipitously beyond that.

The PCGS population is only 3 with 1 graded higher, the latter being an MS67+ example.

Listed at $24,000 in the CDN CPG and $30,000 in the PCGS price guide.

Offered at $23,100

None Graded Higher – 1890 Morgan NGC MS66 Dollar

The Sherman Silver Purchase Act, passed in July 1890, replaced the Bland-Allison Act as the authorizing legislation for the Morgan silver dollar. The law provided for the purchase of some 54 million troy ounces of silver annually from Western mining interests. As could be expected with such a supply of bullion, silver dollar production in 1890 was substantial throughout the year, with more than 16 million coins ultimately produced. These were paid out gradually over many years, with the final distribution being in the Treasury releases of the early 1960s. Careless preservation, then, ended up being a major factor in the rarity of high-grade examples, as the date is readily available in grades through MS65. But that’s where the availability stops.

The NGC population is only 10 with none graded higher.

Listed at $15,000 in both the CDN CPG and the NGC price guide.

Offered at $11,900