1909-S Indian Half Eagle. MS-62 (PCGS).Here is an impressive and seldom offered Mint State quality example of this particularly challenging Indian half eagle. Both sides are sharply struck and bathed in vivid honey-apricot color. The luster is full with a softly frosted finish. The S mintmark is fully formed and readily appreciable. A highlight of the 20th century half eagle offerings in our present sale of the Fairmont Collection, this lovely example is sure to see spirited bidding among advanced gold enthusiasts.<p>The 1909-S is a leading rarity in the Indian half eagle series of 1908 to 1929, ranked third in absolute Mint State rarity in the 2008 revision to David W. Akers reference <em>A Handbook of 20th Century United States Gold Coins: 1907-1933</em>. The typical Uncirculated survivor from the mintage of 297,200 pieces is in the MS-60 to MS-63 range, and even MS-64s are very scarce and can be difficult to obtain. Gems are exceedingly rare with most such pieces tightly held in advanced cabinets.<p>In their era, Indian quarter eagles and half eagles were without honor. Following the launch of Augustus Saint-Gaudens beautiful MCMVII $20, praise was unstinting for this magnificent work of art. Then in 1908, without advance notice, the new quarter eagle and half eagle appeared, the work of artist Bela Lyon Pratt. The designs were incuse - that is recessed below the field of the coin, the latter being the highest point. The Indian Head motif and the eagle are in relief, but lowered. Great criticism was heaped upon the motif, some saying that the recessed areas could attract germs. Various writers, including well known dealer Henry Chapman, penned derogatory comments which were published in <em>The Numismatist</em>. The general result was that very few numismatists - probably not more than two or three - actually sought Indian quarter eagles and half eagles by mintmark varieties during the time they were issued. Accordingly, when these did become popular in the 1930s, and even more so beginning in the 1950s, high grade examples of certain issues ranged from scarce to extremely rare, as here. Their survival was a mere matter of chance.PCGS# 8516. NGC ID: 25ZL.<strong>To view all items from the Fairmont Collection-Kronen Set, click<a href="https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots?search=fairmont+collection&parent_category=1-11EIQ&lots_range=upcoming"target=’_blank’> here.</a></strong>.From the Fairmont Collection - Kronen Set.