David Akers (1975/88): This issue is very similar in overall rarity to the 1910-D and 1913-D although it is not quite as difficult to find in gem condition as the latter. Any grade short of full MS-65 is quite common and it will not require much searching to find a 1914-D in MS-64 or lower grade. Gems are very scarce, however, and superb MS-67 ones. although they are known, are extremely rare. I have seen a few nearly perfect examples of this issue, with the Browning Collection specimen in a Texas bank as nice as any.
The 1914-D is typically very sharply struck with "soft" frosty, very slightly granular surfaces. (Many specimens I have seen were definitely on the satiny side but more of them have that distictive early Denver Mint frosty look.) Lustre is generally very good on this issue and the color is nearly always light to medium orange gold, often with greenish gold highlights.
Nearly 30 years of certification have given us a much clearer picture of the grade distribution of most American coins. This allows us to see what changes, if any, have occurred over the years in our perception of rarity and quality. For the 1914-D $20, the populations in grades from MS62 to MS65 confirm that this is a common date and literally thousands have been certified in each of those grades. The rarity of MS-66 examples and the extreme rarity of MS67 examples support the assertions made by David Akers decades ago. To date, the only 1914-D in MS67 is the remarkable PCGS MS67 in the Simpson collection.
David Akers - Dr. & Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection - Heritage 1/2012:4623, $9,775
Bella Collection (PCGS Set Registry)
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