Laibstain. Beautiful and colorful toning over good luster. A coin that often comes very weakly struck, but strikes run the gamut up to well struck. The Dale Friend collection had a coin that was a very strong strike, for example. Not a common coin in gem, only three are graded at MS 66, making this one tied for finest known. For comparison, the example from the Duckor collection has a softer strike, particularly in the eagle's left talon area, but gorgeous original toning and nice luster. The third known MS 66 example, from the Hugon Collection, was described as proof-like. For 1893 one notices a considerable drop in available mint state coins available from the previous year, the 92-O. This is one of many very tough coins to find in original gem and better condition in the Barber Half Dollar series. This date in MS 66 only comes up rarely for sale or auction.
David Akers: The 1893-O is scarce, but not really rare in the lower Uncirculated grades. That is, in Choice Uncirculated or lower grades, specimens can generally be located with a little searching. However, in Gem Uncirculated condition, the situation changes dramatically and only a very few such specimens are known...
James A. Stack - Stack's 3/1975:574 - Dr. Thaine B. Price - David Akers 5/1998:128 - Dr. Steven Duckor - Heritage 8/2010:3177, $20,700
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