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1862 Quarter Eagle, PR65, Ex: Trompeter
Likely Rarer Than the Proof-Only 1863

1862 $2 1/2 PR65 PCGS. CAC. Ex: Trompeter. Quarter eagle proofs dated 1862 are seldom seen in any grade, much less in the Gem category of the present example, where it is the sole such certified at PCGS with none finer (11/12). Only two Gem proofs are reported at PCGS -- the present Gem, and a second specimen in PR65 Cameo. There are none numerically finer at PCGS, and no Deep Cameos.
NGC shows three submissions in PR65 Cameo and one in PR66 Cameo, along with two PR65 Ultra Cameo and one PR66 Ultra Cameo. There are a total of 20 submissions of unimpaired (PR60 or above) proofs at both NGC and PCGS combined, including, almost certainly, resubmissions that inflate the populations. PCGS CoinFacts provides an estimate of only 16-17 survivors out of the original reported mintage of 35 coins, and Garrett and Guth surmise that "probably fewer than 15 coins" survive; whatever exact number of coins remains, it includes examples off the market -- presumably forever -- in the collections of the Smithsonian and the ANS.
Notwithstanding the number of survivors, the 1862 proof quarter eagle's reputation has undoubtedly been overshadowed by the 1863 quarter eagle, which was a proof-only issue with no circulation strikes produced. Garrett and Guth estimate that 15 to 20 examples survive of the 1863 in all grades.
It thus appears that the 1862 quarter eagle is a bit rarer than the illustrious 1863 issue, considered a legendary rarity among U.S. coins. This piece, however, from the famed collection of proof gold assembled by Ed Trompeter, has added cachet that no other example can match. It also boasts superb aesthetic quality in its own right. The surfaces display deep orange-gold coloration, with much contrast between the fields and devices. The surfaces are fully struck throughout both sides, and to mention any of the tiny signs of contact would overemphasize their importance. A small, curving strikethrough running from the eagle's right (facing) upper wing provides a pedigree marker. A coin with marvelous eye appeal and a remarkable provenance.
Ex: Theodore Ullmer Collection (Stack's, 5/1974), lot 368; Ed Trompeter Collection (Superior, 2/1992), lot 42, where it brought $23,100.
From The Dr. James Olsen Collection.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 287G, PCGS# 7888)

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Auction Dates
January, 2013
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