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.
The incredible MS68 1906-S $5. Liberty, pictured above, is the finest recorded example. Unlike many other examples seen, it is fully struck, including all the obverse stars. It's pristine surfaces display full blazing mint luster of orange yellow gold. What separates this coin from perfection, and identifies it for posterity, are some small flan flaws between stars 10 and 11. I suspect a coin this choice may have been purchased directly from the San Francisco Mint in the year of issue, like the John Clapp-Eliasberg gold. This example came to the writers attention when it was appeared in the October,1979 sale of the Layton Ott collection in Los Angeles. I attended the auction hoping to buy the coin even if I had to pay a "stupid" price like $3,500. My paddle was still up as the coin crossed the $6,000. mark. When the dust settled, a California dealer prevailed at an astounding $9,000! I was denied a very important coin for my 20th Century $5.Liberty set. Fortunately, I was able to acquire the coin a couple of years later for less than the auction price. In 1988, the coin market was heating up as was California real estate. In order to purchase a home, my almost complete set of gem $5. Libs was sold intact to a savvy professional. The set was broken up and dispersed into the numismatic community. But today, I am happy to report, this outstanding coin is an integral part of a fabulous gold coin collection in California.
David Akers (1975/88):
The 1906-S is moderately scarce as a date and choice uncirculated examples are quite difficult to locate. I rate this date on par with the 1898-S and 1899-S and do not feel it belongs in the "common date gold" category, at least not in uncirculated condition.
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