[ REVISED APRIL 2019 ]
PCGS reports a single MS67+, two coins graded M66/66+, and four as MS65/65+. CAC recognizes only the two MS66/66+ coins and one MS65+ in their census.
In his 1998 catalogue of the Dr. Thaine Price Collection, David Akers noted “The 1901-O Barber Half Dollar is one of the premier issues in the Barber Half Series …”. With the benefit of hindsight after 20 years of sales of the finest Barber Half Collections in history – Hugon, Friend, Duckor, Shireman – David’s 1998 assessment survives today.
1. MS67+ Duckor, PCGS #16398779
The Steven Duckor PCGS MS67+ has sold twice in the past decade, at Heritage Auctions’ sale of the Duckor Collection, August 2010, lot 3201 at $63,250 and then in October 2015, lot 3292 at $64,625.
2. MS66 Stack – Byers – Gardner, PCGS #36324722
This Stack-Byers-Gardner PCGS MS66 is easily the second finest 1901-O. While certainly not of the grade level, it still rivals Duckor’s MS67+ from the point of desirability. Original surfaces and natural toning are a perfect match for the James A. Stack catalogue photos from 1975. The strike is exceptional for a 1901-O, with strong lower leaves and a nearly complete upper right shield corner.
James A. Stack; Stack’s, March 1975, lot 602 @ $650; George Byers; Stack’s “George ‘Buddy’ Byers”, October 2006, lot 1344; Eugene H. Gardner; Heritage Auctions “Eugene H. Gardner, Part I”, June 2014, lot 30558 @ $21,150 as PCGS MS66 #05988637.
3. MS66+ Friend, PCGS #21554882
An attractive, lightly toned coin, yet incomplete strike and facial marks including a line curving down from the back of Liberty’s nose push this to third place.
Dale Friend; Heritage Auctions in January 2009, lot 3887, at $23,000 as PCGS MS66 to Joseph O’Connor (OCNUMIS);later to Dell Loy Hansen.