1918/7-S 25C FS-101 MS67 NGC
No issue in the entire Standing Liberty quarter series is as much of a rarity in high grade as the 1918/7-S. The overdate was not discovered until nearly two decades after its creation, by which time collectors’ best chance of finding an example was to pluck a worn piece from circulation. Bank rolls and other accumulations of Mint State 1918-S quarters yielded extremely limited results when searched for the overdate.
By the late 1940s, the 1918/7-S was an established series key. The 1948 Guide Book of United States Coins listed the overdate at US$150.00 in Uncirculated condition — significantly higher than the other series key, the 1916, which was listed at only $90 in the same condition. Today, the overdate remains the rarer and more valuable coin, particularly in Mint State.
The 1918/7-S also rivals the 1916 as the most poorly struck issue in the series. This issue is almost always seen with heavy clash marks in the recesses of Liberty’s gown and evidence of die lapping in the fields. The shield is never seen sharp, and Full Head detail is present on only a fraction of the already scant Mint State population. When it comes to the 1918/7-S, it is challenging enough just to find a sharp date and well-struck eagle. And this without consideration of condition. A moderately well-struck coin in a middle or upper Mint State grade is an incredible rarity.
A number of resubmissions are likely reflected in the certified population figures for this issue, although the general clustering of Mint State coins in the MS62 to MS64 grade range is accurate. Gem or finer coins are extremely rare, and none this well preserved are in Full Head. The finest non-Full Head coin at PCGS is a single MS66, followed by three MS65s. At NGC, there are four MS65s, an MS66, and two MS67s — one of which is the coin we are featuring in our upcoming August 10 – 14 ANA US Coins Signature Auction in Anaheim. The number of recent auction appearances of MS65 and MS66 pieces can be counted on one hand, and this is the first time that a Superb Gem 1918/7-S quarter has ever been likewise offered.
One glance at this piece and the astute collector will marvel. The luster is remarkably thick and frosty for an issue that often comes dull and satiny, with light champagne toning that accents the margins. The strike is also impressive: Liberty’s head detail is far above average for the issue with the three sprigs showing plainly, and the shield shows at least partial definition on all rivets and lines. The central torso and the reverse eagle are also far better defined than is typical of the 1918/7-S. The eye appeal generated by the MS67-quality surfaces is stunning, with no obvious abrasions. This piece, when considered for rarity, quality, and eye appeal, is arguably just as important of a consideration for the advanced collector as one of the finest Full Head pieces.
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