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Astonishing 1864-S Seated Quarter MS68, Ex: Eliasberg

1864-S 25C MS68 NGC. Ex: Eliasberg. The description from the landmark offering of Louis E. Eliasberg Quarters sold nearly seven years ago reads in part:
"A spectacular gem, virtual perfection, and probably the finest known. Satiny, lustrous surfaces with light gray and gold toning. Sharply struck and boldly defined in all areas. Broad rims with partial wire rim on obverse. 'Prohibitively rare Uncirculated' wrote Walter Breen in his 1988 Encyclopedia, and who can disagree? If a(n) MS-60 coin is prohibitively rare, then what is a(n) MS-66?
The present coin is undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the connoisseur in the Liberty Seated series.
Die notes: Briggs 1-A. Obverse with date high and closer to the base of Liberty than to the dentils. The first two digits of the date (are) boldly repunched. Reverse with features particularly deeply impressed into the die, generating very bold peripheral lettering. The S mintmark, punched separately into the die, is somewhat lighter in relief and is interestingly rounded on the higher areas."
The only part of the Eliasberg catalog description that we would take exception to is the word "probably" in the first sentence. There is no probably to this extraordinary coin being the finest known. Only a handful of Uncirculated 1864-S Quarter exist and none have certified higher than MS64. Listed under the Eliasberg Gallery on the NGC website where it states "this coin simply defies belief." We concur. Population: 1 in 68, 0 finer (11/03).
Ex: William M. Friesner Collection (Frossard, 06/1894); J.M. Clapp, John H. Clapp estate 1942 privately to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 1483, where it was sold uncertified and realized $104,500. (#5460) (Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 23TZ, PCGS# 5460)

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Auction Dates
January, 2004
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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