David Akers (1975/88):
The 1900-S is a very scarce and underrated date. VF or EF specimens are only moderately scarce but strictly uncirculated examples are rare and choice or gem quality pieces are very rare. The 1900-S is considerably more rare than the 1898-S or 1899-S and is similar in overall rarity to the 1897-S although not quite as rare in mint state.
This is a rare coin in Gem condition. There are 10 or so known grading MS65 or better. But interestingly, there are three monster Gems. There's an off -the-charts MS68. And then there are two incredible miracle MS69s. One of the 69s is the Eliasberg-Clapp coin. And I have an interesting story about the other one. In around 1987/1988, I was at the Long Beach coin show and my old boss Jan Bronson (I worked for him as his coin buyer in 1973 and it was the first time I had a lot of money behind me and could actually go buy expensive coins) came up to my table and said he thought he had a coin that he should submitt to PCGS. He said he wanted to show me the submission invoice to make sure he was doing it right. He had a really nice $5 Liberty that he had bought over the counter. He asked me if it was all right if he insured the coin for $25,000. The coin was a 1900-S and when I looked at it I said, "Jan, I think this coin will grade MS69 and you'll need to add a zero to the insured value." Sure enough, the coin graded MS69. It came out of nowhere...actually it came out of Beverly Hills...but I don't know how or why.