Laibstain. A very pretty coin from Harry Laibstain. Amazing blue toning is present over both obverse and reverse. The coin came from an original 1900 Mint Set Harry bought. This example is only bettered by one single coin. The P mint coins from the middle of the series are all very tough in gem and above. Remember that most early collectors used proof coins from Philadelphia rather than circulation strikes in building their collections. Only from scattered and seemingly random saving do we have preserved today coins in high grade like this one. It not only had to survive not getting put into circulation, but it was never cleaned, polished or mis-treated in its 111 years of existence. Also, many coins even carefully cared for can develop toning that is not very eye-appealing. This coin has beaten all the odds to survive to today, and is now safely stored in a very stable PCGS Secure holder. Though we do not know the exact reason that someone saved the particular set of uncirculated coins from 1900 from which this half came from, various possibilities certainly include: birth year for a family member, wedding year for someone, change in the dates from 1800's to 1900's, etc. Entertaining such notions about coins is part of what makes collecting coins so much fun!
David Akers: In circulated conditions, and in mint state grades below Gem quality, the 1900 is not especially difficult to locate. However, accurately graded Gems are very rare and this issue is certainly undeserving of its traditional common date status. In fact, in Gem condition, the 1900 is actually every bit as rare as many of the more highly regarded issues in this series, including some in the 1890's.
David Akers - Dr. & Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Barber Half Dollar Collection - Heritage 8/2010:3197 - Greensboro Collection, Part VI - Heritage 10/2015:3289, $19,975