David Hall: Though the lowest mintage, the 1953-S is by far the easiest of the 1953 Washingtons to find in Gem condition. Basically, for the S mints of this era, because of their lower mintages, were saved in more significant quantities than the higher mintage Philadelphia and Denver coins, collectors/dealers of the era assuming the lower mintage coins would be rarer and more desireable in the future. But as it turns out, survival rates and Population Reports are now much more important in determining price, as they should be. The the real rarities are the coins that weren't saved, and the 1953 and 1953-D fit that description, while the 1953-S does not. Note that there a number of spectacularly toned ultra Gems of this date.