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Description

'1802/1' Quarter Eagle, BD-1, MS64+
With Bright Yellow-Gold Surfaces

1802/1 $2 1/2 MS64+ NGC. Breen-6118, BD-1, R.4. Bass-Dannreuther Die State a/a. The Guide Book lists the 1802 quarter eagle as an overdate -- "1802, 2 Over 1" in the 2011 version -- while the Bass-Dannreuther reference lists it as a normal nonoverdate issue. There were no quarter eagles produced dated 1799, 1800, or 1801. It would be strange -- but not unprecedented -- in U.S. numismatics for there to be an overdated die for which no examples of the "underdate" year are known. In fact, this is exactly the case with the 1802/1 half eagle, and Bass-Dannreuther write that "some have suggested the calling of this quarter eagle an overdate is due to the obvious 1802/1 half eagle -- an analogy easily seen. A defective 2 punch or break is now considered the likely culprit for the '1' below the 2 in the date."
Some examples of this phenomenon include:
--1805/4 half dollar (no 1804 half dollars are known)
--1802/1 half eagle (no 1801 half eagles exist)
--1796/5 Draped Bust half dime (the 1795 half dimes are Flowing Hair)
--1852/1 Humbert tens and twenties (no perfect-date 1851 tens or twenties known).


Whichever it is, the 1802 quarter eagle is the first of the denomination coined in the 19th century, an unsurprising result given the sporadic nature of quarter eagle coinage in the early years of the U.S. Mint. It has been traditionally collected as an overdate.
In fact, one of the most illustrious collections of overdates ever offered at auction was the Dr. Juan XII Soros Collection (Superior, 2/1999), which contained an MS62 PCGS example of the "1802/1" quarter eagle -- along with 1817/3 and 1817/4 half dollars; the 1796/5, 1797/5, 1802/1, 1803/2, 1808/7 Wide Date and Close Date, 1809/8, 1814/3, 1825/1, 1825/4, and 1828/7 half eagles; 1798/7 Stars 9x4 and Stars 7x6 eagles; and many others.
The present MS64+ example of the 1802 quarter eagle displays bright mint luster. The strike is a trifle soft in the center of each side, possibly precluding -- just barely -- a Gem grade. The only "defect" worthy of note is actually Mint-made, a shallow planchet fissure over the high point of Liberty's cheek, just below the eye. Bright yellow-gold surfaces are free of adjustment marks.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 4GB5, PCGS# 7650)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2011
27th-1st
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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