Laibstain. Very nice coin. White and well-struck with minimal abrasions and booming luster. This coin was one we hoped would grade MS 66, but it did get a bump from MS 65 to MS 65 plus. A much tougher date in the series for two reasons. P-mints of the series were not saved in any quantity in uncirculated condition, because proofs were preferred by most contemporary collectors. Also, the middle years of the series saw fewer coins saved, perhaps due to loss of the novelty of the issue. This is especially true for the P-mints of 00-05. Try to find a gem 1904 and you will find out it is one difficult date. The nicest 1904 of which we are aware is the Dale Friend example, which he traded to Steve Duckor. That particular example is far superior to all others we have seen. It is also easy to forget that in 1904 a half dollar was a fair amount of money and may have represented a significant amount of a day's salary for many. Saving one as a collectible meant going without the fifty cents the coin was worth at the time. The fact that so few remain in original pristine condition attests to the lack of saving the coin by very many people at the time of issue.
David Akers: This issue is one of the most underrated in the entire series, but its rarity is recognized and appreciated by relatively few. All mint state grades considered, it is perhaps slightly less rare than the 1903, but it is every bit as rare as the 1903 in Gem condition.
Larry Whitlow, sold privately in 5/2003 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 6/2014:30560, $15,275
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