David Akers (1975/88): With such a high mintage figure (second only to the common 1909-D) one might reasonably expect the 1911-S to be fairly common in Mint State. That is most certainly not the case, however, and the 1911-S is actually very difficult to find even in MS-60 to 62 condition. In MS-63 or better, this issue is almost never seen and the 1911-S is virtually on a par rarity-wise at this level with the 1909-S and 1910-S. A small number of gems are known but I am unaware of anything that would grade MS-65+, much less MS-67. All in all, this is one of the most underrated issues of the series, if not the entire spectrum of 20th-century United States gold coins.
This issue is usually very well struck although some specimens are a little weak on the Indian's feathered headdress, particularly the tips of the bottom four feathers. The lustre is decent but not as good as on the preceeding San Francisco Mint issues. It is superior, however, to the lustre on the typical 1911, 1911-D, 1912-S, and all but a few examples of the 1913-S. The 1911-S is always frosty, never satiny, and the color is usually a light to medium orange gold, often with a greenish gold tint. The mintmark is usually (but not always) sharp and well defined.