PCGS grade. Probably from the John Clapp collection and probably acquired by John Clapp directly from the Denver Mint in 1908. Purchased at the Bowers & Ruddy Oct '82 Eliasberg sale by Jeff Garrett for $18,700. Note that Eliasberg also had a 1909-S with an estimated grade of MS67. Lot #848. Image courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions.
David Akers (1975/88): The 1908-D With Motto has one of the highest mintage figures of the entire series, yet it is one of the rarest issue in gem condition, nearly as rare as the 1908-D No Motto, whose mintage was only one-fourth as great. This only shows once again that mintages are often an inaccurate barometer of rarity, especially among 20th-century gold issues. In every Mint State grade, this issue is very rare, and relatively few specimens exist better than MS-63. Eliasberg's was really superb, at least MS-65+, and with a strong claim to MS-67, as was Norweb's. A piece in my personal collection is of equal quality, Kruthoffer's (now owned by Dr. Steven Duckor) is a high end MS-65 and there are others that are true gems, including specimens owned by Ed Trompeter, Dr. Thaine Price and a prominent Eastern collector.
The 1908-D With Motto is typically well struck and the lustre is almost always very good to excellent. The surfaces have just a trace of very fine granularity and typically have a strong tendency toward a satiny texture. The color on most high-grade specimens is the same, light to medium orange gold, often with greenish gold highlights.
Louis Eliasberg, Sr. - Bowers & Ruddy 10/1982:848 - Dr. Steven Duckor - Heritage 4/2006:3884, $230,000
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