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Rare, Condition Census 1802 Quarter Eagle
Choice Mint State, Breen-6118, BD-3

1802 $2 1/2 MS64 NGC. Breen-6118, BD-3, R.5. Bust Right quarter eagles are a rare type, not as difficult as the 1796 No Stars or the 1808 Capped Bust Left, but nonetheless challenging since only the final year 1807 had a mintage above 3,500 pieces. This is a lustrous near-Gem, with lovely yellow-gold and lime-green coloration intermingled across both sides. The fields are unusually clean for an early gold coin. The reverse is nearly immaculate, and the obverse is also refreshingly unperturbed, except for a couple of faint slide marks on the cheek and a few wispy pin marks in the right field area. Although the centers on each side are not fully brought up by the dies, the remainder of the design is intricately detailed, particularly the eagle's wings and the olive branch. A remarkable example of the issue, which is usually encountered impaired or in high circulated grades. A number of Mint State pieces have survived, but these are generally in MS61 to MS63 condition, and many among the third-party populations undoubtedly reflect resubmissions. While all 1802 quarter eagles are traditionally referred to as overdates, no examples are known that display an irrefutable underdigit, and many numismatists regard the final digit as merely the result of a defective number 2 punch. In his Complete Encyclopedia (1988), Walter Breen comments: "The single 1802 obv. is generally called an overdate, 1802/1, a perception possibly influenced by the 1802/1 half-eagle dies. Any trace of 1 within 2 on the quarter eagles requires a microscope." The more recent Dannreuther-Bass reference work (Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties, A Study of Die States, 1795-1834), published in 2006, pointedly refers to the three die varieties of this date as "1802", rather than "1802/1".
A coin that possesses great visual appeal and obvious conditional rarity, this offering is sure to generate great excitement when it crosses the auction block. Census: 3 in 64, 2 finer (6/08). (Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 4GB5, PCGS# 7650)

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Auction Dates
Jul-Aug, 2008
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 1
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