CAC. Laibstain. 2008 Heritage ANA sale. A lustrous and pretty toned example, dripping with originality. What seems at first to be a coin that would be fairly easy to find in gem, the 1902 is a real sleeper. The population of surviving gems from Philadelphia from 1900-1905 is few, and a perusal of the population reports tells you the real facts. These coins are really rare! Part of this is explained by the fact that many of the contemporary collectors saved proof examples for their Philadelphia examples. This is one of the more recent coins that Harry helped find for us. The coin as a 66+, is the second finest known. You just don't see the middle dates like this one show up very often. Harry's expert eye is very helpful to us in forming this collection.
David Akers: The 1902 has one of the highest mintage figures in the entire series, just short of 5,000,000 pieces, yet for some reason it is extremely difficult to locate in Gem condition. To be sure, lower grade mint state pieces can be located with a little diligence, but true Gems...are almost non-existent. One would have better luck finding some of the more highly regarded mintmarked issues of the 1890's in Gem condition than one would have of locating a comparable quality 1902 Barber Half Dollar.