Estimated grade. Ex. Picker (1956) Sold by David Akers Numismatics Oct '97 Price realized $880
David Akers (1975/88): In terms of overall rarity, this is the premier issue of the series although it is just marginally more rare than the 1911-D. (The 1911-D is more rare in MS-64 or better condition, however.) Even in MS-60 to 63 condition, the 1909-O is seldom available and above that level, there are probably fewer than 10 specimens in all. Two specimens stand out above all the rest, the Lilly coin impounded in the Smithsonian Institution and the Eliasberg specimen, now in a prominent Texas collection. Both are MS-65+ coins, the Lilly coin perhaps even a bit better than that. The Kruthoffer coin, now owned by Dr. Steven Duckor, and a similar quality example in the Dr. Thaine Price Collection are high end MS-64 pieces and I have seen two or three others of similar quality. This is one of the major rarities of 20th-century gold, especially in gem or near gem condition.
The 1909-O is usually quite well struck but the mintmark (double punched to the left on most, but not all specimens I have seen) is normally weak. There are a few specimens, however, where the mintmark is very sharp and well defined (cf. the Lilly specimen). The typical 1909-O is frosty, not especially lustrous, and light to medium greenish gold in color. Some specimens also have a light rose or orange hue.
David Hall: There is one Superb Gem, the incredible Clapp-Eliasberg specimen. Gordon Wrubel and I bought this coin in the October, 1982 Eliasberg auction for $30,800. We sold it right away for a small profit. David Akers has handled this coin several times since and the price is, shall we say, somewhat higher than what Gordon and I paid in 1982!!!!!
J.C. Mitchelson Collection, 6/1909 - John H. Clapp Collection - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Ruddy 10/1982:623, $30,800 - David Hall & Gordon Wrubel - Paramount “Auction ‘83” 7/1983:404, $46,750 - David Akers “Auction ‘89” 7/1989:1405, $71,500 - Dr. Thaine Price Collection - David Akers 5/1998:21, $374,000 - Jim O'Neal Collection - Heritage 1/2011:5138, $690,000 - Heritage 1/2014:5468, $646,250
Bowers & Ruddy 2/1978:1315 - RARCOA "Auction '79" 7/1979:1279 - Robert Kruthoffer - Paramount 9/1981:6 - Dr. Steven Duckor - Jay Parrino - David Akers "Auction '90" 7/1990:1803 - David Hall Rare Coins - private collection