1916-S $20 MS65 Certification #12165274, PCGS #9169
David Akers (1975/88)
The 1916-S is the second most common early mintmarked issue after the 1911-D. It is a little less rare than either the 1914-S or 1915-S and several hoards totally thousands of Mint State pieces have been dispersed over the past two decades. in 1983, a group of over 4,000 Mint State examples was discovered in Central America, and many pieces graded in the MS-63 to MS-65 range. As a result, the 1916-S is now a relatively common issue in any Mint State grade up to and including MS-65. There are also a number of superb, nearly perfect examples of this issue known, more than anynother early issue except perhaps the 1911-D, 1907 Arabic Numerals and 1908 No Motto.
The 1916-S seems to have been minted to a very high standard of quality. The strike is almost always very sharp and the surfaces, although they occasionally show signs of very fine granularity, do not have the metal flow problems encountered on many examples of the 1915-S. Lustre is always very good to excellent and the color is usually a very appealing rich greenish gold, sometimes with a light orange or coppery tint. High-grade examples of this issue invariably have great "eye appeal."