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1867 25C MS64 PCGS. CAC. Briggs 1-A....

2014 June 23 The Eugene H. Gardner Collection of US Coins Signature Auction - New York #1213

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Auction Ended On: Jun 23, 2014
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Ukrainian Institute of America at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion
2 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075


1867 Seated Quarter, MS64
A Remarkably Elusive Issue
Tied for Finest at PCGS
1867 25C MS64 PCGS. CAC. Briggs 1-A. The 1866 and 1867 Seated quarter issues are among the most elusive from the decade of and after the Civil War. This near-Gem 1867 is attractive in virtually all respects. Aside from the aforementioned shallowness on the ribbon across the shield and at Liberty's waist, the coin offers crisp definition. The obverse exhibits rich champagne and peach-orange central patina framed in blue-green, while the other side shows nearly the inverse. Though significant abrasions are noted below the eagle's beak and above the denomination, the smooth surfaces of the obverse are redeeming. BER is faint but fully visible, and die polishing has also removed nearby detail to the right of the shield and the drapery between Liberty's legs and at the right elbow. An important survivor, housed in a green label holder with CAC green label.

Variety: Briggs 1-A, the sole die pair for business strikes. The business strikes for the year usually are distinguished by the obverse, which shows faintness of detail at parts of the center, as Larry Briggs notes in the Comprehensive Encyclopedia of United States Seated Liberty Quarters: " 'BER' on ribbon [across the shield] as well as central portion (stomach) of Liberty ground down, making it faint and eventually invisible in those areas."

Population Data (5/14): PCGS shows this MS64 and one other with none finer. NGC shows two MS63, none in MS64 or MS65, and the sole finest is an MS66.

Heritage Commentary: After the Civil War ended, mintages of silver and gold coins, the former especially, were not quick to recover. The Treasury, during and after the war, required gold to finance the debt and repay the debt, respectively. Little precious metal reserves were left over for coinage. The 1866 Philadelphia silver quarters were struck in the amount of only 16,800 circulation strikes, and 20,000 of the 1867 quarter would follow. The Seated half dime and dime mintages of 1867 were record low mintages for their respective series, at 8,000 and 6,000 circulation strikes, respectively. Larry Briggs ranks the 1867 quarter R.5 or "rare" even In XF/AU grades.

Consignor Commentary: With a total mintage of only 20,000 pieces, it is no wonder that the date is R.6 in Mint State. For me, at least, it proved even more difficult to find than that. It was not until Heritage's April 2009 auction that I was able to come up with an acceptable Mint State piece. A small die chip on the reverse above the second T in STATES should be noted as a possible diagnostic for Mint State pieces. This coin is graded MS64 by PCGS with its strong eye appeal and beautiful natural toning allowing it to be CAC stickered. The grade is limited, though, by two areas with severe surface marks, both on the reverse: one above the eagle's left (facing) wing, and the other below the eagle's tail. These do not really detract from the coin's overall natural beauty.

Provenance: Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/2009), lot 2342.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 23UD, PCGS# 5470)

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