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1859-D Quarter Eagle, MS62
Variety 21-M, the Only Dies
Last Dahlonega Quarter Eagle

1859-D $2 1/2 MS62 PCGS. CAC. Variety 21-M. The only die pair known for 1859-D quarter eagles. The Dahlonega Mint coined 2,244 quarter eagles in 1859, and then retired that denomination from their production schedule. The combination of the final issue and the low mintage make this a highly popular issue with collectors.
Douglas Winter estimates as many as 140 survivors, although the mintage implies a lower total. Only 10 to 12 of those coins, including the present specimen, are Mint State, despite a higher certified population that includes 21 submissions graded MS60 to MS62. The latter grade is the finest that either service has certified. A roster of Mint State pieces is included in the Second Edition of Winter's Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint: 1838-1861. Most 1859-D quarter eagles that still exist grade in the XF to AU range.
Current certified population data implies an average grade of just under 55 at PCGS and NGC, with only seven MS62 submissions and a probable smaller number of actual coins. The present example is one of those MS62, tied for the finest certified 1859-D quarter eagle.
Winter writes that there is always some weakness on the right leg and left claw, with other central details normally sharp. This piece shows some atypical weakness on the reverse, with poor design definition around and below the shield. However, clean surfaces lacking the usual heavy abrasions trump the weak strike, and the frosty yellow luster with its delicate green and rose overtones further improves the eye appeal. Population: 6 in 62, 0 finer (6/12).(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 25JM, PCGS# 7789)

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Auction Dates
August, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 3
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