David Akers (1975/88): Here is a real "sleeper" date that, until now, few people have appreciated. It is widely considered to be a common date and, in truth, it is only moderately scarce in circulated grades. However, in strictly uncirculated condition it is definitely rare, much rarer, in fact, than many more highly touted dates in the series. Compared to the 1880-S, for example, all of the late CC-Mint issues except the 1891-CC are downright common in Unc. Hundreds of 1893-CC's exist in Unc., including many gems, but if there is a gem 1880-S in existence, I am unaware of it. In AU, the 1880-S is very scarce and even average quality uncirculated examples are rare. Choice mint state pieces are very rare; I have seen only a few at that level and, as I mentioned, no gems at all.
The Saddle Ridge Hoard of gold coins, discovered in northern California in 2013, contained forty-one 1880-S $20s, including six ungradeable examples, ten Mint State examples, and one PCGS MS64 (which tied for Second Finest Known with an already existing PCGS MS64).
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