Estimated grade. Sold by Bowers and Merena Nov '83 price realized $330
David Akers (1975/88): The 1896-S is a very scarce date in all grades and is rare in AU or better condition. Mint state specimens are far more rare then most people realize and choice or gem examples are almost impossible to obtain. This date appeared in my survey exactly the same number of times as the 1894-S and 1895-S, that is to say, not very often, but in my opinion it is not quite as rare a date as the 1894-S and 1895-S although it is very nearly their equal in grades above EF. This date, like the other S Mint Half Eagles from 1894-1897, is very underrated.