The 1898-S Half Dollar is a mid-range rarity in the series. Out of the 74 Barber Half Dollar dates, the 1898-S ranks as 30th rarest in all grades. This puts it on par with the 1892-S, 1896, 1903-S, 1906-S, and 1907-S Half Dollars. MS64 is the most frequently-seen grade, and MS64 examples show up in the market with reliable regularity. In grades of MS65 and higher, this is a real tough date, and it is one of the few dates in the series which shows no MS67 or better examples (this may be because of the remote location of the San Francisco Mint from the collecting centers of the East).
The strike quality of the 1898-S Half Dollars is usually excellent. Almost all of the top-graded 1898-S Half Dollars are toned to some degree, which adds to their eye appeal and originality.