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1848 'CAL' Quarter Eagle, AU Details
America's First Commemorative?

1848 $2 1/2 CAL. -- Repaired, Cleaned -- NGC Details. AU. Both sides of this AU Details "CAL" quarter eagle display bright yellow-gold surfaces. The design elements are relatively well defined, including the star centers, most of Liberty's hair, and the dentilation, most of which is quite bold. The eagle's neck feathers are a touch weak, as sometimes seen on this issue. The coin has been moderately polished, and magnification brings out light rim filing on both sides, but no other repairs are readily apparent. Prospective bidders should not be intimidated by the NGC disclaimers, as these impairments do not unduly detract.
1,389 quarter eagles of 1848 were stamped with the abbreviation CAL. on the upper reverse. Garrett and Guth, in their 100 Greatest U.S. Coins, raise an interesting question about this issue: "Why just this one batch of Quarter Eagles was counterstamped (with CAL.) is a mystery. If the goal were to show the gold's origin, the same should have been done for the millions upon millions of gold coins created in later years from the steady stream of gold that flowed out of California." Possible answers to this question notwithstanding, many numismatists consider the 1848 CAL to be the nation's first commemorative coin.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 25HA, PCGS# 7749)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
January, 2012
3rd-8th Tuesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 661

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