The Survival Estimate represents an average of one or more experts' opinions as to how many examples survive of a particular coin in three categories: 1) all grades, 2) 60 or better, and 3) 65 or better. These estimates are based on a variety of sources, including population reports, auction appearances, and personal knowledge. Survival estimates include coins that are raw, certified by PCGS, and certified by other grading services.
Numismatic Rarity converts the Survival Estimate for a particular coin into a number from 1 to 10 (with decimal increments) based on the PCGS Rarity Scale. The higher the number, the more rare the coin.
Relative Rarity By Type
Relative Rarity By Type ranks the rarity of this coin with all other coins of this Type. Lower numbers indicate rarer coins.
Relative Rarity By Series
Relative Rarity By Series ranks the rarity of this coin with all other coins of this Series. Lower numbers indicate rarer coins.
David Akers (1975/88):
The 1865-S normal date is very rare in any condition, more so than either the mintage or even the modest number of auction appearances would imply. The blundered or inverted date variety was not discovered until about 20 years ago and therefore, it is likely that some of the pre-1960 listings are for inverted date coins. I have seen approximately twice as many inverted date specimens as I have normal ones. Most normal date 1865-S Eagles are very worn and grade from VG to VF. In EF, this date is extremely rare and I am unaware of any specimens above that grade, although the Miles coin was called AU. The 1865-S normal date is more rare than the 1858-S, 1859-S, 1862-S, and 1863-S and is of approximately the same rarity as the 1860-S and 1867-S. It is only a little less rare than the 1864-S and 1866-S No Motto.
Two varieties are known for this year. The better known is the spectacular 1865-S Over Inverted 186. The less visually impressive Normal Date is, ironically, the rarer of the two. I regard this as the second rarest eagle from San Francisco. I estimate that around 30-40 are known and nearly all grade EF40 or below. In fact, this one of the rarest Liberty Head eagles from the standpoint of condition. I have never seen or heard of an Uncirculated example and I know of just three that I would call real AU's (none better than AU50 to AU53).
The quality of strike is very distinctive with soft radial lines in the stars and a slightly concave appearance on the obverse. The reverse is better struck although many examples show weakness on the neck feathers. I have never seen an 1865-S Normal Date eagle that did not have heavily abraded surfaces and most have enough wear to lack any significant luster.
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