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1808 $2 1/2 AU58 NGC. Breen-6125, BD-1, R.4....

2011 June Long Beach Signature US Coin Auction #1156

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Auction Ended On: Jun 3, 2011
Item Activity: 11 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Long Beach Convention Center
100 S. Pine Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90802


Near-Mint 1808 Capped Bust Left Quarter Eagle
Popular One-Year Subtype
BD-1 Variety
1808 $2 1/2 AU58 NGC. Breen-6125, BD-1, R.4. Assistant engraver John Reich introduced a new design for the quarter eagle in 1808, portraying Liberty in a capped bust, facing left on the obverse, and featuring a redesigned eagle on the reverse. Reich secretly signed his design by notching the outer point of star 13. The quarter eagle denomination was not useful in contemporary economic transactions, being too large for everyday purchases and too small for convenient use as financial reserves. As a result, no quarter eagles were coined after 1808 until 1821, at which time the design was altered again. The 1808 quarter eagle thus constitutes a one-year subtype, and is quite popular with type collectors.
The 1808 quarter eagle boasts a recorded mintage of 2,710 pieces, and John Dannreuther estimates the surviving population at 125-150 specimens in all grades. Examples in near-Mint condition are rare, and Mint State coins are even more elusive.
The present coin is an attractive near-Mint example, with only the slightest wear evident on the design elements. The devices are sharply rendered in most areas, but some of the obverse stars are a little flat, and the denomination is quite weak. This coin shows a curious feature found on most examples of this date. The obverse dentils are almost invisible, and this feature seems to have resulted from the design of the dies, rather than some off-center effect of the open collar coining technology used at the time. The reverse dentils are weak too, but not as incomplete as the obverse. The surfaces of this specimen are a light lemon-gold color, with bright mint luster and only minor abrasions. Census: 13 in 58, 16 finer (4/11).(Registry values: P8) (NGC ID# 25FD, PCGS# 7660)

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