Estimated grade. Sold by David Akers Numismatics Oct '97 Price realized $330
David Akers (1975/88): This is one of the major rarities of the series, indeed of all 20th-century gold coins. It is not at all easy to find even in MS-60 and specimens in MS-63 or better are really few and far between. I have seen only three true gems (MS-65 or better) all of which are now in notable collections in the Los Angeles area. The satiny Duckor specimen is a superb MS-65+ example and reportedly sold in the heat of the market in 1980 to a prior owner for $75,000! Dr. Thaine Price's coin is of similar quality and is the frosty type. The Kruthoffer coin, purchased by Ed Trompeter, is another of the gems although it is not quite the equal of the other two. In addition to these three top specimens, I have seen or handled a few more that were solid MS-64 coins. So there are more nice examples of the 1915-S around than there are of the 1911-D, 1914-S, but not many more.
The 1915-S is usually quite well struck, although some specimens show a little softness on the lower feathers of the headdress. Like the 1908-S, this issue comes with two very different finishes, one very frosty with a touch of granularity, the other unusually satiny. Most specimens are the frosty type and just a few are satiny. The mintmark is usually weak and not very well defined but some specimens have a very sharply mintmark. Many examples show signs of die buckling or detetioration near the borders. Color is typically light to medium orange gold with a greenish tint (the frosty ones) or rich reddish gold (the satiny ones).