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    1823/2 Quarter, B-1, XF45
    The H.O. Granberg Example
    Browning Plate Coin

    1823/2 25C B-1, High R.5, XF45 PCGS. Ex: Browning Plate Coin. A famous rarity in the Bust quarter series, the 1923/2 quarter only grows in stature with the passing of time. The exhaustive Rea-Tompkins-Davis-Logan pictorial Census illustrates 30 individual examples, and while there have been a few grade changes since Early Quarters of the Untied States Mint was published, notably few appearances are seen of examples in any grade, and virtually no new coins have emerged.

    That all changed when our Eugene Gardner auctions included two fantastic 1823/2 quarters -- one a magnificent, unique proof, and the other a prooflike Mint State circulation strike (the two finest 1823/2 quarters known). Then in 2015, the D. Brent Pogue coin came to market, a beautiful near-Mint coin, and suddenly three of the top 1823/2 quarters had changed hands, an almost unbelievable sequence of events.

    The Pogue sale cataloger noted, "The Granberg coin, untraced in recent decades, is EF and listed as eighth finest known." So perhaps it is no surprise to see that very coin offered here, in only its second appearance at public auction in 85+ years. Now certified XF45 PCGS, this beautifully pedigreed coin moves up in the Census one or two notches and is currently the fourth-finest example certified by PCGS (7/21).

    The pedigree of this coin is indeed formidable. It boasts an early history that includes George S. Seavey circa 1873, the Parmelee Collection, and a 1914 appearance at H.O. Granberg's 1914 ANS exhibit. Famously, this is the Browning plate coin, later listed by Waldo Newcomer in a 1932 edition of The Numismatist and in Louis R. Hemmer's 1935 Premium List.

    As the Browning plate coin, this example has been known over the years for its smooth and nearly mark-free surfaces. The coin remains so today, with a pleasing silver-gray obverse framed by traces of bluish-gray patina and ivory-gray high points. The reverse retains vestiges of mint luster, with golden highlights and faint blue accents. Marks are limited to a couple of tiny nicks on Liberty's neck and a pair of exceedingly minor obverse rim indents -- one near star 6, the other closest to star 8. A few traces of mint grime remain on each side. The strike is sharp for the dies, which show signs of Chief Engraver Robert Scot's declining health. In particular, the 1823 reverse working die was incomplete at the eagle's left (facing) talons and at the upper and lowest arrowheads. John Reich's original master dies remained in service from 1815 to 1828, showing areas of unrepaired deterioration.

    The 1823/2 mintage is an enigma, although discussed at length by researchers and series specialists. The figure currently listed in the Guide Book is 17,800 pieces, which seems much too high given the estimated 30 to 35 surviving pieces -- nearly all of which are well-documented. Steve M. Tompkins theorizes that the actual 1823/2 mintage was 1,800 pieces, matching delivery warrant #907. If the December 31 delivery warrant #935 consisted of 16,000 1824-dated pieces, the numbers seem to satisfy all scenarios for the 1822 to 1824 period.
    We have to believe the recent and fortunate parade of exceptional 1823/2 quarters will soon end, and the issue will revert to its usual pattern of only an occasional, lower-grade piece available at auction. All astute collectors and Bust quarter specialists will be wise to take that likelihood into account, and bid accordingly.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 23RP, Variety PCGS# 38971, Base PCGS# 5334)

    Weight: 6.74 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2021
    18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 25
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 680

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold on Aug 18, 2021 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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