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Lot
5220

1841 $2 1/2 PR55 NGC....

2012 April 18-22 US Coins & Platinum Night CSNS Signature Auction- Schaumburg #1169

 
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Auction Ended On: Apr 19, 2012
Item Activity: 6 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
1,938 page views
Location: Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel
1551 North Thoreau Drive
Schaumburg, IL 60173

Description:
1841 Quarter Eagle, PR55
The Famous 'Little Princess'
1841 $2 1/2 PR55 NGC. An impressive amount of research and private correspondence has occurred over the past couple of years about the 1841 quarter eagle. The so-called "Little Princess" has traditionally been considered a proof-only date, and one of the keys to the quarter eagle series. The belief that all 1841 two and a halves were proofs was first seriously questioned in 1975 by David Akers. Today a considerable number of gold specialists believe that some of the uncertain mintage of 1841 quarter eagles were business strikes. These experts have made extensive examination of several coins and it appears that a small number were not struck as proofs.
There are approximately 14 examples known of the 1841 quarter eagle of both types. This is an inordinately high number of survivors for a proof gold coin, when the other two gold denominations from 1841 each have a survivorship of a single specimen. Whether some were struck as proofs and others struck as business strikes is a matter of intention on the part of the Mint, a point that is academic in the absence of a convincing business strike. What is not in dispute by any of the experts who have looked at this question, is that all 1841 quarter eagles are struck from the same pair of dies.
This particular coin leaves no doubt about its proof status. "Proof" is the gut reaction when viewing this piece, even with the fuzziness in the fields from light handling. Deep reflectivity is seen on each side, and the strike is strong throughout with none of the softness associated with the few business strikes believed known. Numerous handling and contact marks are spread throughout the fields, but they do little to diminish the intense mirrors. The only mark of note is a scrape on the lower reverse just above the denomination. The yellow-gold color takes on an accent of reddish patina around the devices.
No doubt the controversy will continue for years to come regarding the "Little Princess." If indeed it is concluded that business strikes exist from these dies, then collectors will have two major rarities from this already famous year in the quarter eagle series. Census: 2 in 55, 0 finer (3/12).(Registry values: P10) (NGC ID# 25LZ, PCGS# 7867)

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