The 1863-S is a rare Civil War era San Francisco half eagle with an estimated 50-60 known from an original mintage of 17,000. This date is mostly seen in VF and EF grades and it is rare in AU50 and above.
This coin has the sharpness and naked-eye appearance of an EF40 to EF45 but it has been properly net graded due to some old marks in the fields and a few areas of discoloration (in the metal?) seen on the obverse. The color is a pleasing medium russet-gold with some darker hues seen at the obverse and reverse borders. The details are sharp and this coin “faces up” really nicely for the date and grade.
No PCGS VF35′s have sold at auction since a November 1996 Bowers and Merena sale. In January 2014, an NGC VF20 brought $3,055 as Heritage 1/14: 6709.
This date has become popular in recent years–as have nearly all Civil War half eagles–and this affordable collector grade example should quickly find a new home.