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Lot
1223

1848 $2 1/2 CAL.--Improperly Cleaned--NCS. AU Details....

2009 August Los Angeles, CA US Coin Auction #1128

 
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Auction Ended On: Jul 31, 2009
Item Activity: 9 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location:

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza
2025 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Description:
Coveted 1848 CAL. Quarter Eagle, AU Details
1848 $2 1/2 CAL.--Improperly Cleaned--NCS. AU Details. Although it will not appear in the Guide Book listing of commemorative coins, in the broadest sense the CAL. quarter eagle does commemorate the first shipment, 230 ounces of California gold, to reach the Philadelphia Mint. The sender was the governor of the California Territory, Col. R.B. Mason, who had in that same year expressed the need for a federal mint in California. The receiver was Secretary of War William L. Marcy, who in turn forwarded the gold on to the Mint in Philadelphia, with instructions to Mint Director that it be coined and specially marked to observe the occasion. The small letters CAL. were accordingly stamped into the reverse die. Thus it is truly the nation's first commemorative coin, even if it is not the first custom-designed coin for commemorative purposes.
Those 230 ounces of gold were employed to produce 1,389 quarter eagles, but only 75 or fewer examples are believed to exist today. This is an attractive coin, despite the surfaces that are just a tad too bright to be original. The reddish patina that is forming over each side of the old cleaning helps the appeal, and slight remnants of the original luster cling to the protected areas around the devices. A small, short scratch below star 12 will aid in future identification. A coveted and popular coin from the historic Gold Rush era.
From The R.M. Phillips Limited Partnership Collection.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 25HA, PCGS# 7749)

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