David Akers (1975/88): Low grade specimens are the norm for this date yet the 1857-S is sufficiently rare that even VF and EF examples are seldom seen. I have seen two or three AU's but have neither seen nor heard of a strictly uncirculated piece. The 1857-S is just as rare as the lower mintage 1857-O and is nearly as rare as the 1855-S. It is considerably more rare than the 1854-S or 1856-S.
(PCGS CoinFacts editor's note: David Akers comments are from his seminal book on $10 gold pieces, published in 1980. This was before the discovery of the SS Central America ship wreck and gold hoard which was found in 1986 and came to market in 2000. The SS Central America treasure hoard contained thousands of 1857-S $20 gold pieces and a handful of 1957-S $10 Liberties, including a handful of mint state specimens. Before the SS Central America treasure hoard, as David Akers indicated, the 1857-S $10 Liberty was unknown in uncirculated condition.)