Estimated grade. Sold by Bowers and Merena Nov '83 price realized $220
David Akers (1975/88): Undoubtedly because of the "common date" status of the other S Mint Half Eagles of the 1880's (except for the 1883-S and 1884-S which are also underrated), the 1888-S is generally regarded as a common date as well. As the auction data shows, however, it is not at all common and is actually very scarce in all grades and surprisingly rare in strictly uncirculated condition. I have seen only a few mint state pieces and consider this date to be very rare and undervalued. The 1888-S is much more rare in high grades than either the 1883-S or 1884-S and is as rare and equally unappreciated as the rare S Mint Half Eagles from 1895-1897.