Laibstain. Duckor/Akers coin. Very nice coin with excellent strike and nice color. A very tough coin to find above MS 64, and not all examples are very well struck. This issue is difficult to find in any condition above VG. In mint state, few specimens are available in any grade, making this a difficult coin to attain. We had an MS 64 example, then obtained an MS 65 coin, and then finally purchased this coin from the Duckor sale at auction. There were years between these upgrades as the date almost never is available in gem. Any coin from the Duckor collection is special as it was chosen very carefully from all available coins over several decades with the help of David Akers (one of the great coin dealers; he knew and loved Barber Halves very well). Only one coin is graded finer, and I believe that is the incredible coin from the Pryor collection that is proof-like and amazing for this issue; I'm not sure where that coin is presently. Our coin has original toning with some pretty colors and complements the other coins from 1898 in this set. We feel that the 1898-O is underrated by many people. Mid and upper grade circulated examples are also difficult to find and this date ranks up there with several others for most difficult to find in VF to AU.
David Akers: In the past, the 1898-O was always overshadowed by the mintmarked issues of 1896 and 1897; that is, although the 1898-O was always considered a very scarce date, it generally took a backseat to the 1896-O, 1896-S, 1897-O and 1897-S in terms of popularity and perceived rarity. Now that we have a better picture of the relative rarity of many of the issues in the series, however, it is quite clear that the 1898-O in Gem condition is decidedly more rare than either of the two 1897 issues and is actually very similar in rarity to the 1896-O and 1896-S. I feel that is is one of the more underrated issues in the series in high grade, and Gem quality examples are extremely difficult to locate.