Large S mintmark. In the rare date gold realm the date "1857-S" has gained much fame because of the S.S. Central America double eagles of this issue. But the 1857-S half eagle is a considerably scarcer coin and it is extremely rare in Uncirculated with probably no more than seven to nine known. The present example is choice and original and it is clearly not a shipwreck coin. The obverse is satiny with medium green-gold color that shades to orange; the reverse is more frosty with nice orange-gold and reddish hues. There are some obverse marks in the fields that limit the grade and a scratch on the reverse below TATE in STATES. That said, I think this piece is comparable to any of the MS61 examples that I have seen over the years. If you are a collector of undervalued gold, ask yourself this question: would you rather have a nice Uncirculated 1857-S half eagle which is one of fewer than ten known or a so-so Uncirculated double eagle of this date of which thousands exist?