Lovely 1802 BD-1 Quarter Eagle, AU58
1802 $2 1/2 AU58 NGC. CAC. BD-1, R.4. Light
green-gold surfaces with frosty mint luster and tinges of pale
orange toning around the devices. Typical light abrasions are
evident on both sides of this attractive quarter eagle, consistent
with the grade.
Die State. The obverse is perfect. The reverse has a short crack or die line from the second feather of the right (facing) wing to the top of the first A in AMERICA.
Condition Census. Despite the availability of this variety, only three or four Mint State examples are known, followed by this piece and several other nice AU coins.
Appearances. Plated in Superior's 1994 sale.
Obverse Die. The final digit is smaller than the others and approximately centered between border and bust. The 1 has a short serif almost touching the hair. New layout with LIBERTY entirely right of the cap. Letters are spaced increasingly farther apart from left to right with L extremely close to the cap and I very slightly low. Eight stars left and five right, remarkably evenly spaced. Star 1 has two points very close to the hair and star 8 is much farther from the cap. Star 9 is closer to Y than star 13 is to bust.
State a. Perfect.
Reverse Die. A heavy horizontal die scratch extends from the left corner of the shield to the wing. All three E's have their upper left serif missing and extended by hand. No letters in the legend are joined. The U is slightly low with its bottom very close to an arrow shaft. D is close to the fourth feather but clearly separated. Letters in STATES OF are centered between the border and clouds. The upright of the E is over a cloud space. AMER and CA are close with the final A very close to the claw. A leaf joins the base of I, right of center. The upper inside berry is stemless. The outer arrow point is slightly left of the left base of N, with the longest arrow below the inside foot of the left upright. Star 12 touches the ribbon and upper beak, and star 13 is isolated in the field.
State a. A short die crack or die scratch joins the second feather on the right with the left side of first A in AMERICA.
Heritage Commentary. This reverse was later used to produce dimes, 1802 JR-3 and 1803 JR-2. This is the most common of three 1802 quarter eagle varieties. For many years, this obverse has often been called an overdate, but it appears not to be such. The illustration exhibits small internal defects within the digit, probably giving rise to the overdate nomenclature, but nothing about these defects suggests a previous digit 1. The same punch was used for the 1802 dimes.
Consignor Commentary. At the time I started collecting the quarter eagles, little information had been published about die varieties of these coins, other than the 1960s monographs penned by Walter Breen. He described four different 1802 quarter eagle varieties, although his descriptions for his numbers 1 and 3 are confusing, with elements of each description matching this single variety. This reverse more closely matches Breen's variety 3 reverse. Today, collectors are fortunate to have John Dannreuther's work on the early gold coin varieties, based on notes that Harry W. Bass, Jr. compiled during his many years of collecting.
Provenance. Ex: Superior (1/1994), lot 2288.
From The Ed Price Collection.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 4GB5, PCGS# 7650)
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