1848 $2 1/2 CAL. MS68 NGC....
Bid InformationFor your convenience, the bid information on this page automatically refreshes with the most up to date data so you don't have to refresh/reload this page.
Minimum Next BidBid increments determine the lowest amount you may bid on a particular lot. Normally, bids must be at least one bidding increment over the Current Bid. However, podium, fax, phone and mail bidders submit bids at various times without knowing the current bid and must be on-increment or at a half increment (called a Cut Bid). Any podium, fax, phone, or mail bids that do not conform to a full or half increment will be rounded up or down to the nearest full or half increment.
Internet bids are required only to bid the increment past the Current Bid, or more. Internet bids greater than one increment over the Current Bid can be any whole dollar amount.
It is possible under several circumstances for winning bids to be between increments. It is also possible for an existing bid to be outbid by less than a full increment, sometimes by only $1. This usually happens when two bidders feel that a lot is worth about the same amount, but one places an off-increment bid. Generally when this happens, the Current Bid was much lower than the high secret maximum bid when the off-increment bidder placed his bid.
For example: On Tuesday, you bid $1500 against Bidder A's Maximum Bid of $1000, raising Current Bid to $1100. Then on Thursday, Bidder B, seeing a Current Bid of $1100, guesses the final price and decides to bid $1501, outbidding your Maximum Bid by $1. You would now have to bid $1600 through Heritage Internet bidding or $1550 on Heritage Live (if available for the auction) to possibly win that lot. Next time, maybe you'll bid $1502 and outbid Bidder B by $1!
Number of BiddersThis number represents the number of individual bidders prior to the close of Internet bidding on each lot. An individual who bids more than once is still counted only once. During the live session, only the winning bidder is included in this number, although detailed records are kept of all forms of bids.
Although many lots will not get reserves, this signifies that we have not yet posted any reserves to this entire auction. Reserves are usually posted approximately 3 days prior to the closing for Internet-only auctions, and approximately 7 days prior to the live session for Signature auctions. At that point, any unmet Reserve will become both the price shown (with an asterisk) and the Minimum Next Bid, regardless of any previous bids.
Although the consignor's agreement allows a reserve on this lot, the deadline for submitting such a reserve has elapsed. If consignor submits a reserve post-deadline and the item fails to meet that reserve, we may charge the consignor a higher reserve fee.
This lot is being sold without a consignor reserve. (Note: By law, consignors may still bid under certain conditions, but they are responsible for paying the full Buyer's Premium and Seller's Commission if they do.)
A reserve has been posted on this lot, but no bids have met the reserve. The current bid has been set to the reserve amount, and the next bid will meet the reserve.
Reserves have been posted for this auction, and there is a reserve on this lot that has already been met.
Lots bearing estimates and without Consignor Reserve shall open at Auctioneer's discretion (usually 25% to 60% of the low estimate).
What's This?The owner of this item has indicated that they would sell this item at the amount, although their acceptance of your offer is required before the item can be purchased.
BP - Buyer's Premium per LotA Buyer's Premium will be added to each successful bid. For this sale: 15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot. Please see #2 in our Terms & Conditions.
Not SoldThis indicates an item that did not sell at auction because it did not receive bids equal to or greater than the reserve (minimum bid) amount set by the consignor, or the opening bid.
Opening Bid:Lots bearing estimates and without Consignor Reserve shall open at Auctioneer's discretion (usually 25% to 60% of the low estimate).
Extended Payment Plan
Available on select items as noted on the item page in the bidding area.
- Minimum invoice total is $2,500.
- Subject to a refundable 3% set-up fee, which will be paid as part of your 1st monthly installment. This fee will be refundable upon completion of the plan if the following conditions are satisfied:
- There is no penalty for paying off early.
- Non-dealers only
- With pre-approved credit application
- Get pre-approved by filling out a credit application.
- Bid normally and win some lots.
- When you get your electronic invoice, select "other" from the payment options.
Note: This offer may not be available on some items.
Terms and Conditions
Extended Payment Plan for Heritage Owned Inventory Items(excludes Virtual Bourse, Comic Market and Virtual Sports Show)
- Minimum invoice total is $2,000.
- Minimum down payment is 20%.
- There is no penalty for paying off early.
- Non-dealers only
SMS Alerts- Receive a text message approximately 35 lots ahead of your item being up for bidding at auction, with a link to bid in Heritage Live in the text message. Haven't registered? Visit MyProfile to sign-up for free by entering your mobile number. The green icon indicates Live Bidding Text Alerts are on for that lot. Live Bidding Text Alerts are only available for lots in live sessions.
|Sold for:||Sign-in or Join (free & quick)|
|Claim Item:||Sign-in or Join (free & quick)|
|Auction Ended On:||Jan 10, 2008|
10 Internet/mail/phone bidders
8,240 page views
Orange County Convention Center
The Finest Certified at NGC
As important as the California Gold Rush is to the general public, it is particularly significant to coin collectors, as many classic numismatic treasures were born from this historic period. The first, and as such one of the most important, are the 1848 CAL. two and one half dollar pieces. The story of this coin is compelling. Although California gold had been used to strike Federal coinage at the Philadelphia Mint in the years prior to the Gold Rush, all gold deposits were treated as one source. Therefore today we have no way of identifying which coins were struck from California gold or other sources. That changed in August 1848 when a special shipment of gold was transported from the acting governor of California, Colonel R.B. Mason, to Secretary of War William Learned Marcy in Washington. Q. David Bowers remarks of this event in his landmark treatise on the subject, A California Gold Rush History: "We can trace the advent of coins specifically linked to California and easily identifiable as such to the purchase of 228 ounces of gold, averaging .894 fine, by Asst. Quartermaster Folsom in California who had obtained the metal for the bargain rate of $10 per ounce at a time when the metal was common and Spanish American and other coins in exchange were scarce. The money came from a civil fund." The gold was received by Marcy in December and subsequently shipped to the Philadelphia Mint. Marcy penned a letter regarding the precious metal to Mint Director Robert Maskell Patterson on December 8, 1848, as documented in the Bowers reference:
"If the metal is found to be pure gold, as I doubt not that it will be, I request you to reserve enough of it for two medals ordered by Congress and not yet completed, and the remainder, with the exception of one or two small bars, I wish to have coined and sent with the bars to this department. As many may wish to procure specimens made with California gold, by exchanging other coin for it, I would suggest that it be made into quarter eagles with a distinguishing mark on each, if any variations from the ordinary issues from the Mint would be proper and could be conveniently made ..."
Breen surmised that the two medals mentioned by Marcy were for Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield "Old Fuss and Feathers" Scott. However, a letter dated January 5, 1849 from Mint Director Patterson to Secretary of War Marcy states that "The California gold reserved for the medals is from another deposit ..." Apparently this letter was not available to Breen during the time of his research on the subject. The two gold medals were authorized by Congress to be presented to the two victorious generals and their ultimate contributions in winning the Mexican War. The Scott medal is permanently impounded in the Smithsonian Institution while the Taylor medal, a behemoth piece struck from 20 ounces of California gold, was sold as part of the November 2006 Norweb Collection by Stack's, where it realized $460,000. It is now accepted by researchers that the gold used to produce the two gold medals was actually derived from a deposit of 1,804 ounces of gold extracted from the American River near Sutter's Mill. This was the first arrival of California Gold Rush gold at the Mint, deposited by a prospector named David Carter on December 8, 1848, just one day before the 228-ounce shipment from Marcy arrived.
It is significant to note that the estimated 1,389 1848 CAL. quarter eagles struck were technically the first commemorative coins issued by a U.S. mint. Sufficient documentation exists to indicate that these pieces were intentionally modified to signify the earliest utilization of California gold in our nation's circulating coinage. The method of distinguishing the California pieces from the regular issue quarter eagles of 1848 was likely the work of Patterson, since Marcy did not provide specific instructions on this matter. Due to time constraints, the "distinguishing mark" first suggested by Marcy was a simple CAL. punch of one piece. It would have been interesting if a decision had been made to actually modify a working die for the California coins, but the urgency of producing the commemoratives dictated a simpler option. Since all known pieces are devoid of any obverse deformation, it is widely believed that each coin was manually stamped while in the die. When Marcy questioned the Mint Director on the delay of completing the project, Patterson provided the excuse that stamping each coin with the CAL. logo was "time-consuming."
Bowers notes that the 1848 CAL. quarter eagles "were available at face value to anyone desiring them. Although about 1,389 pieces were minted, probably fewer than two or three dozen numismatists--if indeed, even that many--learned of them at or near the time of issue and added the coins to their cabinets. Among those acquiring such pieces was Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, who preserved at least three prooflike specimens in his personal cabinet." Given the state of preservation and the semi-prooflike fields of the current example, one can easily accept the possibility that this piece once resided in Longacre's collection. Those coins not purchased at face value by the public obviously entered circulation, as evinced by the numerous pieces known in grades from VG through AU. This is arguably the finest known example today, being the finest graded with none designated higher at NGC, and only one positioned at the MS68 level at PCGS (11/07).
The coin offered in this lot displays semiprooflike fields, as is the case with most of the high-grade pieces we have seen or know of. Pronounced die striations are visible in the fields, which, of course, account for this reflectivity. Both sides yield an even yellow-gold patination. The design elements are sharply defined, except for softness in the hair curls beneath Liberty's ear, and in the eagle's neck and right (left facing) leg feathers. These are common areas of softness on all 1848 quarter eagles. The only abrasions of any note that can be used as pedigree identifiers are a series of tiny marks to the right of star 4. It is of little wonder that this particular coin was assigned the coveted Star designation.
This is a very rare opportunity to acquire this classic American rarity in the finest condition obtainable. It is a breathtaking piece of Americana that has remained virtually unchanged since being struck during the earliest days of the greatest gold rush of all time. Census: 1 in 68 , 0 finer (11/07).
From The Madison Collection.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 25HA, PCGS# 7749)
Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)