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Eye-Appealing 1804 Quarter Eagle, BD-2
14 Star Reverse

1804 $2 1/2 14 Star Reverse MS62 PCGS. Breen-6119, BD-2, R.4. This is a simply lovely 1804 Stars Reverse quarter eagle, one with eye appeal that immediately suggests an even finer grade. The two-toned surfaces show deep, rich orange-yellow competing with smaller areas of sage-gold, with both sides showing much prooflike luster even though not certified as such. The two quarter eagle varieties of the year, the 1804 13 Star Reverse and 14 Star Reverse, share a common obverse, but the BD-1 13 Star is rated High R.6 by Bass-Dannreuther (12-14 known), while the BD-2 14 Star Reverse is R.4 (150-200 known).
The 14 Star reverse was also used to strike the slightly rarer 1804 JR-2 dimes, a masterstroke of Mint efficiency that was nonetheless commonplace in a few instances until reverse denominations were added to the John Reich-redesigned quarter eagles beginning in 1808. Numerous such examples are known for dimes and quarter eagles dated between the years 1797 and 1807. The 14 Star Reverse shows six stars in two even rows -- a cross pattern in Bass-Dannreuther terminology -- plus one star on each side of the eagle's head. Bass-Dannreuther note that this is the only Robert Scot quarter eagle with an "obvious cross pattern of stars," which led Walter Breen to suggest that the reverse was, in fact, a leftover from around 1798.
Under a loupe a few minor ticks and scrapes appear consistent with the grade, all minor and undistracting. A tiny planchet void appears near Liberty's chin. A few planchet adjustment marks appear on the reverse rim around 10:30. The strike is well-executed, save for minor softness on the arrows and claws on the lower reverse. Population: 6 in 62, 2 finer (11/11).(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# BFVT, PCGS# 7652)

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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