David Akers (1975/88): Without a doubt, the 1911-D eagle is not only one of the rarest issues of the $10 series, it is one of the major rarities, both population-wise and condition-wise, of all 20th-century United States gold coins as well. The 1911-D cannot be easily located in any Mint State grade, not even MS-60, and above the most basic Mint State level, the population dwindles to almost nothing. The collector intent on obtaining an MS-64 or better specimen is probably in for a very long wait since just a few are known, most likely less than 10 such pieces in all. The finest known specimen by far is the Norweb specimen now owned by a prominent Eastern collector. It grades a full MS-67 and is, in fact, nearly perfect in all respects. Three others have strong claims to gem status including the Kruthoffer specimen, the Miles-Breen II sale coin, and the Dr. Steven Duckor example, although it is not certain that all three would be graded MS-65 by all parties.
This is the lowest mintage issue of the entire series. Most specimens are very sharply struck on the obverse, but the reverse is sometimes a bit less sharp, most noticeably at the juncture of the eagle's wing and breast and on its trailing leg. Overall, however, the typical 1911-D must be considered sharply struck. The surfaces are usually frosty and finely granular, and the lustre is only average for the series. A very few specimens, and I mean a few, have a slightly satiny texture. The color is nearly always light to medium orange gold with a greenish gold tint or highlights.
Bowers & Merena 6/2002:2318 - Bentley Shores Collection - Stack’s/Bowers 8/2013:4548, $67,562
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