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Near-Gem 1833 Quarter Eagle, BD-1
R.5 Heavily Melted Late-Series Issue

1833 $2 1/2 MS64 NGC. Breen-6136, BD-1, R.5. Bass-Dannreuther Die State a/c. Despite the low mintage of 4,160 pieces for the 1833 quarter eagles, the late reverse die state is easily explained when one realizes that the same die was used for the reverse of the 1831- and 1832-dated pieces of that denomination as well. When the reverse was used for the 1831 pieces the dies clashed, leaving an impression of the neck of Liberty in between the ribbon and the juncture of the shield and eagle's neck on the reverse, producing state b. The dies were subsequently lapped (also in 1831), although Bass-Dannreuther write that "the lapping is so light that distinguishing between State a and c is nearly impossible; the clashed state, b, is obvious." No further die deterioration occurred during the run of the 1832 mintage, leaving the reverse as here, in state c, for 1833.
David Akers and later Bass-Dannreuther write that the 1833 quarter eagle issue is the "most difficult date to obtain of the common issues, 1829 to 1833." However, as is usual when the word "common" is bandied about, its context must be guardedly examined. Bass-Dannreuther estimate that the R.5 1833 survives to the extent of only 60 to 80 pieces in all grades, and they follow that "common" remark with this: "The 1831 date/variety certainly is the most available of this type, although the 1829 and 1830 are seen with almost the same frequency as that benchmark issue. However, all the known examples of this entire type number only into the hundreds, as the noted meltings consumed the vast majority of them."
The present near-Gem is certainly among the few finest survivors of the issue. NGC has seen six submissions at this grade level, with one each in MS66 and MS67 finer (11/11). Orange-gold coloration prevails over surfaces that are evenly struck and semiprooflike, although some high-point detail is lacking. A few small, scattered marks account for the grade, the only one of note to the right of the second S in STATES.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 25FP, PCGS# 7673)

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