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PCGS 1840-O Drapery MS 63. Large O. Breen-3941, Bodine-5. The Large O 1840-O quarter is not only the rarest collectible Seated quarter, but it is also one of the most interesting coins in the series. For a detailed analysis of all the die peculiarities of this issue we refer the specialist to two works: The Gobrecht Journal, issue #36, July 1986; and The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of United States Liberty Seated Quarters, by Larry Briggs.
Properly stated the Large O quarter is a transitional issue. No Drapery quarters have narrow denticles and Drapery quarters have wide denticles. The Large O 1840-O has the new wide denticles on the obverse, but the reverse has both small and large denticles that overlap each other giving the appearance of diagonal "spurs" running off the second cut dentils. Also, the large O mintmark is found on the previously struck No Drapery issues, but does not reappear again until 1843.
Other diagnostics of this issue include a heavy die break from the rim through the left upright of the N in UNITED to the wing; die bulges are noted at the juncture of the right wing and shield and another at the lower right thigh and field area. On the reverse a small die crack develops on the dentils over D-S of UNITED STATES; all of which indicate a short die life.
Most known examples are in low grades with the finest piece known until this one being only XF 45. Only 16 Large O coins were verified in August of 1991 when Larry Briggs went to press with his encyclopedia on this series. One of the known examples is from the New Orleans hoard and the appearance of this coin suggests it also may have come from that group.
The surfaces are toned in rich shades of russet, gray, and maroon, deepening in hue toward the rims. The mint luster is heavily frosted, adding an underlying sheen that is most attractive. Well struck in most areas except, of course, where the die bulging is obvious on the reverse. This is the only mint state coin Large O 1840-O quarter known. Regarding this variety John McCloskey stated: "I believe that the variety has potential as a prized rarity in the quarter series and feel that this variety will be studied extensively by numismatists in the years ahead. And this variety sure has a lot to offer the scholar working to understand the production procedures used to strike our beautiful Seated coinage of the 19th century." (NGC ID# 23SJ, PCGS# 5398)

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Auction Dates
Jul-Aug, 1994
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 1
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