Laibstain. This very coin was once owned by Larry Shepherd, and Larry knows his Barber coins very well, being the dealer that worked most closely with John Hugon, helping Mr. Hugon build phenomenal sets. Lustrous white coin with great clean-of-marks surfaces and strong strike. Very underrated coin in our opinon with only the Pryor/Duckor coin graded higher, and only four others at gem. This might be the rarest Barber Half in mint state in gem or better (there are seemingly more 1892-O micro O and 1904-S examples). The 1893-S is certainly rarer than its older brother the 1893-S Morgan Dollar in gem, but demand for the half-dollars is not as high as for the ubiquitous and heavily collected Morgan Dollars. Look at the population report numbers and you will see that this is one tough coin, even in MS 64 and MS 63. This issue does come nice and most examples we have seen are lustrous and well struck. We have also previously owned examples in MS 63 and MS 64. The 1893-S is among our favorite dates, and about as close to a "key" date as there is in this set. Compared to prices paid for 1904-S halves in MS 65 and better, the 1893-S is a real sleeper, in our opinion. This exact coin represents a significant turning point in building this set. The price jump from an MS 64 to MS 65 for this date is large and requires a high level of confidence in grading to avoid a costly mistake. This was one of the first coins obtained at auction using Harry Laibstain as an advisor. We never looked back, either.
David Akers: In Gem condition, the 1893-S is one of the rarest issues in the entire Barber Half Dollar series and only a few such specimens are known... Lower quality mint state examples can be located with only a moderate amount of effort, but it is unequivocally the case that, in Gem Uncirculated condition, the 1893-S Half Dollar is much more rare than the highly prized Silver Dollar of the same date and mint.
Joel Rettew 2/1976 - James Bennett Pryor - Bowers & Merena 1/1996:257 - Dr. Steven Duckor - Heritage 8/2010:3178, $29,900
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