Most of the San Francisco eagles produced from 1858 through 1870 are next to impossible to locate in AU50 and higher grades. The 1871-S, while by no means common in this range, is slightly more available. This example shows nice naural golden-orange color and has a considerable amount of natural luster on both the obverse and reverse. What appears to be a planchet defect in the left obverse field near ther third star is actually an interesting die crack which is seen on about a quarter of all the known 1871-S eagles. In this case, it is quite large and this is probably among the final coins struck before the obverse die broke. The 1871-S remains unknown in strict Uncirculated and it is extremely rare in properly graded AU58. The PCGS AU55+ that sold as Heritage 9/11: 4384 brought a very strong $11,500, heralding a new-found level of respect for this date amongst collectors.