Estimated grade. Direct from SF Mint Sold by Bowers and Merena Nov '83 price realized $15400
David Akers (1975/88): The 1909-S is one of the four or five rarest issues of the series. Among San Francisco Mint issues it is virtually on par with the 1915-S and is far more rare than the lower mintage 1908-S. Mint State examples at any level are rare and in high Mint State grades, i.e. MS-64 or better, there are probably fewer than 20 specimens in all. The two best I have seen are the Brand and Norweb specimens, both better than MS-65 and undoubtedly obtained directly from the Mint at the time of issue. The Brand coin is now owned by Dr. Steven Duckor, the Norweb specimen by Dr. Thaine Price. Kruthoffer's specimen was also a gem and I have handled at least three others of that quality.
The 1909-S is almost always sharply struck and the mintmark is bold and well defined. (On at least one specimen-Norweb-the mintmark is widely double punched.) Nearly all Mint State examples are frosty but I have seen a few of the satiny variety. Lustre is generally very good to excellent and, overall, a nice 1909-S looks very much like a nice 1908-S or 1910-S. Most specimens have a rich coppery gold color although some are light to medium yellow gold.
Virgil Brand Collection, believed to have been obtained directly from the San Francisco Mint in the year of issue - Dr. Steven L. Duckor Collection - David Akers “Auction ‘90” 8/1990:1804, $77,000 - Superior 3/2000:918, $48,875
Norweb Collection - Bowers & Merena 10/1987:981 - Dr. Thaine B. Price Collection - David Akers 5/1998:22, $44,000 - Simpson Collection
Heritage 1/2002:8195, not sold - Jim O'Neal Collection of $5 Indians - Heritage 1/2011:5139, $103,500