Estimated grade. Sold by David Akers Numismatics Oct '97 Price realized $165
David Akers (1975/88): There have been several small hoards of 1908-D half eagles found over the years but virtually all of the pieces these hoards contained were only MS-60 to 63 quality. An exception was the Virgil Brand hoard handled by MTB which contained a small number of MS-64 or better pieces, most of which were minimally marked with very good color. Most of the relatively few choice pieces around today are from the Brand hoard although the Norweb specimen was a borderline gem. I have never seen a 1908-D that was better than MS-65 and not really very many that even reached that level. This issue is grossly underrated in true gem condition.
The 1908-D is typically not nearly as lustrous as the 1908 and 1908-S but, rather, it is almost always subdued, granular and decidedly on the lacklustre side. Color is generally quite good, however, with many, if not most, Mint State specimens having a rather appealing orange and greenish gold color. Like all the Denver Mint issues of this type, the 1908-D is invariably well struck with a clearly defined, if not particularly bold, mintmark.
Heritage 6/2006:3419, $74,750 - Bob R. Simpson Collection
Albert Fairchild Holden Collection, acquired directly from the Denver Mint in 1908 - Norweb Collection, Part I - Bowers & Merena 10/1987:975 - American Numismatic Rarities 1/2006:1038 - American Numismatic Rarities 3/2006:1643 - Jim O'Neal Collection of $5 Indians - Heritage 1/2011:5134 - Harbor View Collection - Stack's/Bowers & Sotheby's 10/2015:70, not sold