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Near Mint 1840-D Quarter Eagle Very Rare Variety 1-B

1840-D $2 1/2 AU58 PCGS. Variety 1-B. This is an outstanding coin for the collector who appreciates eye appeal, quality and rarity. Note the well struck central devices, with Liberty's curls prominently displayed, and the eagle too enjoys sharply impressed claws, thighs and feathertips--areas which are often found poorly defined by the dies. If one must find fault, some of the obverse stars lack their central radial lines, but this coin is sharper than most others of this date and mint. On the obverse there is a sharp bisecting die crack from the rim nearly touching the lower point of the fifth star through Liberty's forehead, top of her ear, out the back of her head and to the rim between the last two stars. Similarly on the reverse there are two die cracks, one down through the E of STATES to the eagle's beak and right wing, the second is fainter and extends through the E of AMERICA into the field below. Bright yellow-gold with luster in the protected areas, and minimal signs of handling. For identification, there are a couple of faint lines in the field just above the bust tip of Liberty.
The 1840-D is considered to be among the rarest Dahlonega issues of any denomination, especially in high grade. In his reference, Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint, Douglas Winter writes, "In properly graded AU50 or better, it is probably the rarest issue from this mint." Most 1840-D Quarter Eagles are Variety 1-A. The present piece may be the finest known example of the rarely seen Variety 1-B. As the two known varieties were struck with the same obverse die, it is apparent from the obverse die crack that this variety was struck after the 1-A die combination which is known without the bisecting obverse die crack. This second variety was discovered in 1997 and presumably remains quite scarce. The reverse diagnostics are very similar to the A reverse, but the mintmark is slightly further to the left, and most of the known B reverse coins show the die crack through the E of AMERICA. A foremost opportunity for the specialist. Population: 2 in 58, 2 finer (11/05).(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 54TT, PCGS# 7719)

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Auction Dates
January, 2006
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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