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1848 CAL. Quarter Eagle, Choice AU
America's First Commemorative Coin
Historic Gold Rush Memento

1848 $2 1/2 CAL. AU55 PCGS. Many numismatists consider the 1848 CAL. to be America's first commemorative coin (although not one that was custom-designed on both sides), to observe the arrival of the first California gold shipment to the U.S. Mint. Rather, a hand punch was employed as an expedient measure to stamp the reverse of 1,389 quarter eagles to mark the occasion. Since it was a hand operation rather than an addition to a working die, there are slight variations in positioning of the punch, none of them remarkable.
It could be convincingly argued that not only are the 1848 CAL. quarter eagles the nation's first commemorative coins, but they are also a separate subtype. They are, nonetheless, generally collected as a separate issue within the Liberty Head quarter eagle series, rather than as a distinct subtype. Regardless of their status, they are scarce and desirable coins, eagerly pursued by many collectors for their historic as well as numismatic interest.
As members of the long-running Liberty Head series, the 1848 CAL. quarter eagles join such other rarities as: the 1841 quarter eagle or "Little Princess," a proof-only production; the incredibly rare 1854-S, the equally historic first issue from the San Francisco Mint; the 1863, another proof-only date; the low-mintage 1875, produced to the extent of only 400 coins; and many other low-mintage issues of lesser notoriety, as well as numerous varieties and branch-mint oddities.
This Choice AU example has fields that retain some reflectivity, despite a short spate in the channels of commerce. The surfaces are relatively unabraded for the grade, with rich orange-gold color. Minor strike weakness at the center is undistracting, as are the few signs of contact present. Population: 5 in 55, 28 finer (6/10).
From The Dr. and Mrs. Claude Davis Collection.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 25HA, PCGS# 7749)

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Auction Dates
August, 2010
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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