David Akers (1975/88): The 1888-S is essentially equal in both population rarity and condition rarity to the 1885-S. It is also similar in overall rarity to the 1879-S, 1882-S, 1892-S, 1893-S, 1901-S and 1905-S although it is not as rare as the first two in high grade. The 1888-S cannot really be called scarce in the circulated grades but Unc-60 specimens are moderately scarce. Choice mint state examples are very scarce and true gems are unquestionably rare.
The Saddle Ridge Hoard of gold coins, discovered in northern California in 2013, contained sixty-two 1888-S Double Eagles, including seven Mint State examples. The best coins of this group were six MS64s.