1915-S! It's yet another old album coin.
EDS Obverse and EMDS reverse. Matching die states, especially early die states, are rare in the early buffs.
Exceptional strike, especially on the peripherals, for 1915-S. LIBERTY, the ribbons, date, and first and second feathers are unusually sharp for the date. Not only do you have a full rachis and calamus on the second feather, you have a full rachis on the first feather. The obverse "weak spots" are the hair above the braid and the hair at the forehead. The reverse peripheral lettering is crisp. EPU is exceptionally strong. The "weak spots" on the reverse strike match the obverse weakness, at the left front leg and the buffalo's back. (I put "weak spots" in quotes here for a reason.)
Some die clashing and polishing. The second feather / buffalo's head clash is lightly polished. The "LIB" of LIBERTY / right rear leg is lightly polished on the obverse and a bit more polished on the reverse. The hair crease / ground clash is unpolished. The chin / EPU clash is lightly polished on the obverse and reverse.
The strike quality is the biggest risk
. The overall strike is exceptional, but PCGS
frequently mistakes areas of strike weakness (and die polishing) for wear. Here, die polishing is not at issue. The areas of strike weakness are actually only areas of relative
strike weakness. (That's why I used the quotes above.) Even the weak spots here are better than the average strike on most 1915-S buffs. That said, the hair above the knot and at the forehead easily can be mistaken for wear, and I fear PCGS
will do so. The buffalo's front left leg and, to a lesser extent, upper back can also be mistaken for wear. PCGS
is likely to make that mistake for the front left leg.
IMHO, this coin is a rock solid AU-55 on the obverse and reverse, and likely deserves an eye appeal adjustment upward to AU-58. PCGS
, however, is likely to come in at least half step low, at AU-53, without adjustment. PCGS
AU-50 would be very low here.
Bottom line: Bourse floor AU-55 with pricing over grade for eye appeal, but likely PCGS