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1818 B-8 Quarter Dollar, PR67
The Finest and Only Available Proof 1818 Quarter
Browning and Breen Plate Coin
Early Quarter Dollars Plate Coin

1818 25C PR67 NGC. CAC. B-8, R.8 as a Proof. Ex: "Col." E.H.R. Green. Johann (John) Reich was appointed assistant engraver on April 1, 1807, working under the supervision of Robert Scot. Reich immediately began work on new designs for copper, silver, and gold coins. His Capped Bust design for the silver coins first appeared on half dollars in 1807, and on dimes in 1809. Quarter dollars featured the Reich design in 1815, and half dimes followed 14 years later in 1829. John Reich remained at his post as the assistant to Scot until March 31, 1817, then departed to pursue other opportunities, citing poor health and failing eyesight as the reason for his departure.

A fire at the Mint in January 1816 was followed by renovations that included improved equipment. Only cents were produced at the Mint for several months after the fire, including the balance of the year. Copper planchets were imported from England. Silver and gold coins required planchets made at the Mint, and the rollers, draw bench, and planchet cutters used to produce those planchets were among the equipment destroyed in the fire. The renovations included a brick building to replace the damaged building that housed the horse mill, and installation of a small steam engine to operate some of the equipment, resulting in finer quality coins. Certain earlier coins minted from 1793 to 1815 have the appearance of proof coins, and those pieces are normally termed Specimen coins. However, the first true proof coins appeared in 1817, following the improvements to the Mint equipment.

In 1817 only cents were minted in proof; in 1818 quarters, and half dollars were added. The mintage of proof quarters was extremely small, and only two of those quarters survive today. The survivor of lesser quality is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, and the finer piece is this Superb Gem proof that is offered as part of the Eric P. Newman Collection. This piece last appeared for sale 123 years ago and has enjoyed just three owners of record since that time. This specimen was the plate coin in Ard W. Browning's 1925 reference, The Early Quarter Dollars of the United States, and it is the plate coin in Early Quarter Dollars of the United States Mint. It is also plated in Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins.

Original large size Capped Bust quarters are rarely encountered as proofs. The most plentiful date is the proof-only 1827 that also exists as later restrikes. The 1818 was the first proof in the series with only two examples known and just one available to collectors. Other years known in proof include 1820, 1821, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1825, and 1828. For all nine years combined, the estimated total surviving proof population is only 39 coins, plus a dozen 1827 Restrikes. Proofs are identified for 16 different die pairs in the series, and a complete collection, while technically impossible as the unique 1820 B-2 is in the Smithsonian Institution, would be quite an amazing sight. The Eric P. Newman 1818 B-8 proof is the first coin in both a year set of proofs, and a variety set of proofs, and is a necessary component of either collecting option.

The present amazing piece was sold by Samuel Hudson and Henry Chapman in December 1890 as part of the Thomas Cleneay Collection, where it was plated and described simply as:

"1818 Close date. Proof. Sharp, beautiful impression. Extremely rare thus. Plate VI."

As expected, this brilliant Superb Gem proof is struck from the early or perfect state of the Browning-8 dies. This amazing piece has fully mirrored fields around bold design motifs that show an impressive, full strike. The devices exhibit brilliant satin luster with steel-blue peripheral toning. Delicate gold and iridescent toning adds to the eye appeal of this amazing Capped Bust quarter.
Ex: Thomas Cleneay Collection (Chapman Brothers, 12/1890), lot 1326; Ard W. Browning; "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $20.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. (NGC ID# 2WA5, PCGS# 5363)

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Auction Dates
November, 2013
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 12
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