With the exception of the 1875, the 1864-S is the rarest Liberty Head eagle. There are fewer than two dozen known and years can go by without the advanced collector having an opportunity to acquire an example. This fresh piece, which was just graded by PCGS after being off the market for decades, is a "gem" for the grade despite being "only" a VF30. Detail-wise, it is close to being a full EF and I think PCGS was conservative due to the weakness of strike on the eagle's neck feathers which is diagnostic for the date. The color is lovely with deep russet shades which change to iridescence at the date and the left stars; the reverse has a natural ring of concentric color at the border. This coin has the look of a piece that might have been stored in a leather pouch and the surfaces are incredibly clean for the issue. In the recent "secret" Rumsey auction held in February, a vastly inferior PCGS VF30 with signs of cleaning and a large reverse scratch sold for $34,500 with the buyer's premium. This piece is far, far nicer and it represents a fantastic opportunity for the advanced collector to obtain one of the rarest gold coins ever produced at the San Francisco mint.