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Very Rare Uncirculated 1855-D Quarter Eagle

1855-D $2 1/2 MS61 NGC. Variety 18-M. The only variety known of this year.
While not as distinctive in appearance as the 1856-D quarter eagle, the 1855-D is an issue with a "look" that is easily recognizable to even the casual collector of Dahlonega gold coinage. This piece has a strike that is typical for the issue, with considerable weakness seen at the borders. Many of the denticles are not fully formed on both sides. The centers are actually relatively well defined, with some good individual detail seen on the hair and feathers. The surfaces have a few light, scattered marks that are consistent with the grade. The most recognizable is a pinscratch located to the east of star 8. Two small raised die lumps on the reverse above the olive leaves are diagnostic and attest to the authenticity of this coin. Both sides display medium golden color, with some bluish-gold undertones. This is a very pleasing example of a date not known for its eye appeal.
Only 1,123 pieces were produced. At one point it was believed that the 1855-D quarter eagle was the rarest Dahlonega gold coin, but now it appears that this honor should be given to the 1856-D quarter eagle. That said, this is still a rare coin in all grades, and very rare in AU or better. There are four to five dozen pieces known, with perhaps a dozen in AU. We do not believe that there are more than two or three truly Uncirculated pieces known, but the two major services have encapsulated a few in MS60 and MS61 that, in Doug Winter's opinion, are not really "new." The Duke's Creek specimen is listed on the current Condition Census as the second finest known, trailing only the example in the Smithsonian that is originally from the Lilly Collection.
In January 2004 Heritage sold a PCGS MS60 example of this issue as part of the Green Pond Collection for $43,700. The Duke's Creek Collection coin is even finer and should realize a higher price.
Ex: Lamborn ("Fairfield") Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, (Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 7J2U, PCGS# 7776)

View all of [The Duke's Creek Collection of Dahlonega Gold ]

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Auction Dates
April, 2006
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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