Estimated grade. Probably from the John Clapp collection and probably acquired by John Clapp direclty from the Denver Mint in 1908. Purchased at the Bowers & Ruddy Oct '82 Eliasberg sale by David Akers, acting on behalf of Dr. Thaine Price, for $8,250. Note that Eliasberg also had a 1908-D with motto and 1909-S with an estimated grade of MS67. Lot #846.
David Akers (1975/88): In any Mint State grade, the 1908-D no Motto is very difficult to locate. Most of the known examples grade from MS-60 to MS-63 and one almost never sees an example in MS-64 condition. True gems are extremely rare and the Kruthoffer specimen is the only one I have seen that has a legitimate claim to being better than MS-65. All in all, this is a very underrated issue, especially in gem condition where it is virtually unobtainable.
I said the 1908 No Motto is one of the most attractive issues of the series in top grade. Well, this is one of the least attractive, due largely to the fact that it is generally flatly struck on the obverse and is decidedly lacklustre. (An exception to this "rule" is the superb Kruthoffer coin, and there are a very few others as well, but most are weak and dull.) Almost all examples I have seen have been frosty with slight granularity to the surface, but I have also seen others that were very satiny. Color is usually good to very good with the typical specimen a light orange gold color, sometimes with a greenish cast.
David Akers - Dr. Steven Duckor - Heritage 4/2006:3882, $86,250 - Bob R. Simpson Collection
Kutasi Collection - Heritage 1/2007:3163, $115,000 - Jim O’Neal Collection - Heritage 1/2009:3504, $149,500 - Bentley Shores Collection - Stack’s/Bowers 8/2013:4530, $82,250