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Description

1856-O Two and a Half
Conditionally Rare MS62

Tied With One Other at PCGS

1856-O $2 1/2 MS62 PCGS. CAC. Variety 2. The New Orleans Mint, in its antebellum heyday, struck only 21,100 examples of the 1856-O quarter eagle, a denomination that was unloved and neglected in favor of the half eagle and (after 1849) the double eagle throughout much of its history. San Francisco, in only its third year of operation, also struck 1856-S quarter eagles for the first time since opening, and managed to best New Orleans by a margin of more than 3 to 1. Whether these comparative mintages were an early sign of the increasing decrepitude that would overtake the Southern mint by the early 20th century, or merely an indication of the continuation of the hard-money tradition of the Old West that began a few years earlier with the Gold Rush of 1849, is not readily known today. Nonetheless, 1856-O quarter eagles are quite elusive in Mint State; the average certified survivor is about AU. PCGS has certified precisely two pieces in MS62 including this piece, and the other example we handled more than a decade ago in our Exclusively Internet Auction #21043, lot 3407, where it realized $10,000.
From the photo, we believe the present coin represents the second MS62 PCGS example. The surfaces have an original, pleasing orange-gold color with an extremely sharp strike. The date has the Slanted 5 style typical of late-1850s coinage. There are no mentionable marks on either side of this conservatively graded piece.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 25JA, PCGS# 7780)

Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
July, 2012
12th-15th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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Page Views: 1,089

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