David Akers (1975/88): The 1913-S is the premier rarity of the series and is extremely difficult, if not virtually impossible, to obtain in MS-64 or better condition. Harry Bass' specimen, bought across the counter by a Dallas dealer in the early 1970s, is superb (MS-67 or better!) and fully lustrous and is probably the finest known; Robert Kruthoffer's coin was very close to Bass' and realized $46,000 in 1918; it is now owned by a doctor on the West Coast, Philip Weinstein. Kruthoffer also once owned the Auction '79 specimen (MS-63+ at $30,000) and that coin is now in the Duckor Collection. Kruthoffer owned yet another very choice example (MS-64 or better) that he had purchased from New England Rare Coin Galleries for a reported $70,000 in 1979, and he had a fourth on approval from Fred Weinberg once that was MS-64 or so, as I remember. One of the last two is probably the coin in Stack's December 1986 sale at $39,600. Nearly everyone collecting Indian Head eagles, past and present, needs a choice example of this issue, and there are no more than a half dozen or so in MS-64 or better condition to go around.
The 1913-S is usually very sharply struck, often with a partial wire rim on the obverse like the 1911-S, a distinct granularity and below average lustre for the series. (They are not as lacklustre as most examples of the 1912-S, however.) There is often a semicircular "roughness" in the field along the rim to the left of the date, sometimes even affecting the date. Color is okay but not great, usually greenish gold, sometimes with an orange or coppery tint. All specimens I have seen were fully frosty.
Kutasi Collection - Heritage 1/2007:3179, $287,500 - Jim O'Neal Collection of Saint-Gaudens Eagles - Heritage 1/2009:3520, $299,000 - Bob R. Simpson Collection
Wm. Thomas Michaels Collection - Stack's 1/2004:3021, $143,750
Bob R. Simpson Collection