1873-S Liberty Head Eagle. AU-50 (PCGS). CAC.This notable condition rarity delivers originality, eye appeal and premium quality - attributes that should prove irresistible to advanced Liberty Head eagle collectors. Nearly complete satin to softly frosted luster mingles with delightful honey-apricot color. Striking bold to sharp, and the surfaces are remarkably smooth without so much as a single mentionable distraction. Premium quality and worthy of the strongest bids. The 1873-S is among the more underrated Liberty Head eagles from this decade, rarer in all grades than a mintage of 12,000 pieces might imply. <em>PCGS CoinFacts</em> as well as Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth (2008) rank the 1873-S alongside the equally underrated 1871-S, with PCGS providing an estimate of just 80 to 100 survivors for each issue. Typically offered in VF or lower grades, even EF examples are elusive. Although PCGS and NGC list a combined four grading events in Mint State (NGC MS-60, PCGS MS-61, PCGS MS-61 and PCGS MS-62), only two unequivocally Mint State 1873-S eagles are known. These are the Bass specimen in PCGS MS-61 and a coin discovered in Europe and subsequently sold as PCGS MS-62 in our May 2015 Rarities Sale.
Many examples of this issue saw extensive commercial use in the Western part of the United States. As confirmed by the discovery of the aforementioned PCGS MS-62 example in Europe, at least some portion (in fact, probably the majority) of the mintage for the 1873-S was used in the export trade. Regardless of whether they were used domestically or found their way to foreign shores, however, the eventual fate of most 1873-S eagles was the same: loss through commerce or melting. There was essentially no numismatic interest in these coins at the time of issue, and none seem to have been purposefully saved otherwise. The odds were stacked heavily against the survival of truly high quality coins such as this Fairmont Collection example. Interested parties are urged to bid aggressively when this important rarity crosses the auction block.PCGS# 8668. NGC ID: 2656.<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.