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Pleasing Circulated 1808 Quarter Eagle, VF351808 $2 1/2 VF35 PCGS. Breen-1, Breen-6125, Bass-3017, R.4. The Capped Draped Bust design of John Reich only appeared on the quarter eagles during this one year, and it is now one of the most important and desirable rarities of early American gold coinage. Reich, who was hired by the Mint in 1807, is best known for his legacy, the Classic Head, Capped Bust, and Capped Draped Bust designs of copper, silver, and gold coinage. Aside from a few minor modifications of his own design, this was essentially his entire work as part of the engraving team at the Mint.
As the only issue of the design type, demand for these 1808-dated quarter eagles among both type collectors and date collectors is heightened, creating an apparent rarity. The mintage and survival certainly suggest a rare issue, and examples appearing on the market seldom remain available for long. Mintage was limited to 2,710 coins with this issue representing the only variety of the design type. John Reich prepared the design, based on his previous designs introduced among half dollars and half eagles a year earlier. John Reich's Capped Bust design is well known among collectors, being a popularly collected design type. Approximately 5% of the original mintage survive today.
Apparently all known examples have some or most of the dentils missing while central design features remain strong. Add the presence of peripheral adjustment marks on many examples and seldom are specimens found with sharp border details. This example has lovely green-gold color with hints of pale rose toning. The surfaces are slightly rough with a matte appearance and exhibit a few faint hairlines and other light scratches. Slightly larger marks are evident from the cap toward the upper obverse border, and in the field below TED. These should assist in pedigree research. This is an attractive and highly desirable example that should see spirited bidding.
From The Troy Wiseman Collection.(Registry values: P8) (NGC ID# BFVZ, PCGS# 7660)
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