Frosty 1802 Quarter Eagle, BD-3, MS63
1802 $2 1/2 MS63 NGC. BD-3, Low R.5. An excellent
example with frosty green-gold luster and full mint brilliance.
Central strike weakness is evident on both sides, especially on the
reverse. A depression across Liberty's head appears to be a single
Die State. The obverse die is perfect. A fine die crack connects the wing to the border at 2 o'clock.
Condition Census. About half a dozen Mint State examples of this variety are known. The Ed Price specimen appears to rank as third or fourth best.
Appearances. Plated in the 2005 Stack's catalog.
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. Star 1 is sharply recut with at least nine points. Letters are closer to devices than border. U is close to arrow shaft, TE are high, and D is separated from fourth feather. STA are progressively higher. TA are more widely spaced than AT. O is tilted slightly left. Upright of E is over right side of cloud 4. First A touches third and fourth feathers. AMERI are all close but separated and C is slightly high. Final A is close to the claw and closer to the lowest outer leaf. Five berries with four touching leaves. Only the lowest outside berry is separated from leaves. A leaf joins right base of I with another extremely close to left base of A. Outer arrow point is below inside right upright of U and is merely a pointed shaft. Arrows extend below left upright of N. Thirteen stars with normal arrangement. Star 1 lightly joins cloud 1. Remaining stars in top row touch clouds or are extremely close. Star 2 has two points lightly touching cloud and is rotated clockwise, oriented below left base of A. Star 12 touches upper beak but does not touch ribbon or lower beak. Star 13 points to center of U. A vertical die scratch from left top of shield extends to the scroll.
State b. Cracked from the wingtip to the border at 2 o'clock.
Heritage Commentary. This reverse was earlier used to produce 1802 JR-1 dimes and later to produce 1803 JR-1 and 1803 JR-5 dimes. Breen wrote in his monograph that he considered this the second commonest 1802 variety, but that it is distinctly rarer than his number 3.
Consignor Commentary. This variety is fun for a dime collector. This is an R.5 quarter eagle and can be found with patience. There are three dimes struck using the same reverse die--1802 JR-1, 1803 JR-1, and 1803 JR-5. There are only about a dozen examples known of all three dime varieties combined. None of the dimes are known above XF, almost all have problems and they are rarely available in any condition. So the 1802 BD-3 quarter eagle provides a much more realistic opportunity to obtain an example of the reverse die and there are some available above XF.
Provenance. Ex: Stack's (1/2005), lot 3139; Stuart Levine (8/2005).
From The Ed Price Collection.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 4GB5, PCGS# 7650)
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