David Akers (1975/88): Most of the Uncirculated examples that are known of this issue come from a single hoard that was discovered in the late 1970s. The pieces from that group are generally well struck with above average lustre and attractive greenish gold and rose color. Other examples I have seen that were not from the hoard were similar in color, but I have also seen a few that were rich yellow gold as well as some others with a light coppery gold color. The surfaces are either very frosty with very little granularity, or slightly satiny. The Eliasberg coin had a widely double punched mintmark but I have not seen any others with this characteristic.
Most of the coins in the hoard of 50 to 60 pieces graded from MS-60 to 63. Only a very few even reached the MS-64 level and I do not believe any of then would grade a full MS-65 by today's standards. (Kruthoffer's was perhaps the best piece from the hoard and it may well meet the current standards for MS-65 but it is more likely a high end MS-64 today.) The three finest 1909-S eagles that I am aware of are the Eliasberg coin now owned by Dr. Thaine Price, the one currently owned by Robert Kruthoffer, Jr., and the Norweb specimen. All three pieces were reportedly obtained directly from the Mint, are entirely free of bagmarks and grade MS-65+ or higher. The handful of other gems around are not even close to these three pieces in overall quality.
Bentley Shores Collection - Stack’s/Bowers 8/2013:4541, $64,625
Bentley Shores Collection - Stack’s/Bowers 8/2013:4542, $55,812