1927-S $20 MS65+ Certification #06666187, PCGS #9188
David Akers (1975/88)
Four decades ago, the 1927-S was considered to be the fourth rarest issue of the series after the 1924-S, 1926-D and 1926-S (in that order). It was thought to be more rare than the 1920-S or 1921 and even the 1927-D. Over the next 20 or so years, one or a few specimens at a time showed up in shipments of double eagles from Europe, but I do not recall ever hearing of any "hoards" or even a single roll quantity of this issue being discovered. Some real gems of this issue are known and I have seen two or three examples that were distinctly better than MS-65, i.e. MS65+ if not MS-67.
The 1927-S is usually very sharply struck with fully frosty or somewhat satiny surfaces and very good to excellent lustre and color. Some specimens have very rounded or beveled rims and many show evidence of die bulging or die deterioration near the borders. Die breaks are commonplace and on some soecimens they are very prominent. (One variety has a large semicircular die break running along the bottom of RTY through the olive branch to the date.) The typical 1927-S is a rich greenish gold and orange or coppery color. Copper stains are very common on this issue.