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Description

Brilliant Near-Mint 1848 CAL. Quarter Eagle

1848 $2 1/2 CAL. AU58 NGC. The 1848 CAL. quarter eagle is always popular as a reminder of the historic, rough-and-tumble California Gold Rush era in the American West. Many collectors including the present cataloger (GH) consider this coin to be the United States' first commemorative coin, although it is not a coin with an entirely new design conceived specifically to commemorate a person or event. The CAL. stamped onto the dies to commemorate the first shipment of California gold to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia appears to be, rather, an expedient, one calculated to both observe the event and yet produce coins from the new source of gold as quickly as possible. Since only 1,389 quarter eagles were manufactured, the issue far overshadows the 1848 (no CAL.) quarter eagle, also a low mintage issue that is (understandably, since the special nature of the CAL. pieces ensured that many more would be carefully preserved) far more elusive in Mint State--if hardly as popular and in demand.
The current combined NGC/PCGS population data suggest that the 1848 CAL. coins were indeed recognized early on as something special, as the average grade for certified pieces is in the range of AU55 to AU58. In AU55 both services combined have certified 10 coins, with 11 in AU58. There are 44 coins (or grading events) certified in Mint State, including three pieces in MS68! The current specimen offers brilliant orange-gold surfaces with much luster remaining. The well-struck example shows light evidence of a short stay in circulation, but no singular distractions. Census: 6 in 58, 21 finer (12/06).
From The Twin Hollows Collection.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 25HA, PCGS# 7749)

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Auction Dates
January, 2007
3rd-6th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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