Estimated grade. Sold by David Akers Numismatics Oct '97 Price realized $154
David Akers (1975/88): Due to the existence of a small hoard of approximately 200 pieces that surfaced a few years ago, it is possible to locate this issue in MS-63 or lower grade with only a moderate amount of difficulty. Since the hoard did not contain any gem or even MS-64 quality coins that I am aware of, at the higher levels this date is still quite rare, although it is more often available in MS-65 condition than any San Francisco Mint Indian Head $5 other than the 1908-S. There are several MS-65+ specimens known and a few others that might even reasonably be called "Superb."
The 1916-S is invariably well struck and the mint mark is bold but lacking definition. Most of the known Mint State specimens are from the same hoard, and they typically have frosty, very finely granular surfaces and only average lustre. A few pieces (not from the hoard) have excellent lustre and surfaces that, while not exactly as satiny as some 1908-S or 1915-S specimens, are more satiny than frosty. Most of the hoard coins have a light greenish gold and orange toning. Other examples of this issue vary from bright yellow gold to rose colored gold to a medium coppery color.
Jim O'Neal Collection of $5 Indians - Heritage 1/2011:5155, $97,750
Bob R. Simpson Collection
Stack's/Bowers 11/2016:2149, $82,250 - D.L. Hansen Collection
National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution