CAC. Lawrence. Nice coin with original toning over lustrous and clean surfaces. The 1901-S half is quite a rare coin. This was known among Barber Half Dollar experts of ages past, and has been verified by population reports generated once third-party grading began. In his 1991 book on Barber Half Dollars, David Lawrence had the 1901-S half among the top three rarest in all mint state grades as certified by PCGS and NGC. Very tough date in all grades above MS 63 and harder to find than its little brother the 01-S quarter, as there are fewer examples of the halves available or graded than there are the quarters. Examples of 1901-S halves in gem or better condition only become available in rare circumstances. Pricing for this date is well below what would be expected compared to the 1904-S of nearly equal populations, or for some issues that have more available.
David Akers: This is one of the most famous and well known issues of the series due, in large part, to the rarity and popularity of the Quarter of the same date and mint. However, this issue is sufficiently rare to stand entirely on its own merit, and ironically, it is even more rare in Gem condition than the Quarter. Like the 1901-O..., to which it compares very favorably in terms of overall rarity, the 1901-S Half Dollar is probably solidly in the top ten or so issues of the series in terms of both population rarity and condition rarity. Gems are exceptionally difficult to find (the Eliasberg coin and the Emery-Nichols example being the most notable exceptions), and even Choice and Very Choice Uncirculated examples must be considered to be very rare.
San Francisco Mint - S. Benton Emery - Walter P. Nichols - Bowers & Merena 11/1984:821 - David Akers 1/2004 - Dr. Steven Duckor - Heritage 8/2010:3202, $86,250 - Greensboro Collection, Part V - Heritage 8/2015:4084, $51,700
John C. Hugon Collection - Heritage 1/2005:4228, $34,500 - Heritage 7/2009:1135, $54,625 - Stack’s/Bowers 8/2012:11461, $34,500 - Joseph O'Connor, sold privately in 8/2012 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 6/2014:30559 , $30,550