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    Description

    1834 Classic Head Two and a Half
    MS66 Prooflike, Marvelous Type Coin
    Tied for Numerically Finest at Either Service

    1834 $2 1/2 MS66 Prooflike NGC. Breen-6138, Variety 1, Small Head, R.1. The Small Head variety is easily distinguished by the straight line of curls at back of the head, while the Large Head style has an interrupted line of curls at that point. The Small Head obverse is always paired with a unique reverse, Reverse A, in a monogamous die marriage. All the letters of UNITED STATES OF are well-spaced, and no letters touch any others. AME and RI are joined, and the right base of the first A is minutely above the left base of M. The lowest arrow solidly joins the right base of the final A. The stem tip is over the right upright of the D, and the lowest arrow feather is over the outer right curve of the primary 2.
    The 1834 Classic Head coins in superhigh grades, as here, are today among the truly overlooked areas of 19th century numismatics. Neither fish nor fowl, they lack the cachet of the early era of U.S. gold (1795-1834) and yet are far rarer overall than the Liberty Head types that immediately follow.
    In fact, a point we have made before needs stressing again. Variety rarity ratings take no account of conditional rarity. They are merely a shorthand way to account for -- or estimate -- how many examples survive, in all grades, of a given die pairing. The NGC Census Report reveals that this MS66 Prooflike and one MS66 non-Prooflike example are tied for the finest of the issue. PCGS has also certified one MS66 non-Prooflike example. So if we include conditional rarity as part of the equation and assume that all three examples are different, the "R.1" variety in MS66 suddenly becomes Low R.8.
    The strongly mirrored fields are a result of the heavy die striations, with the only noticeable mint frost around Liberty's portrait. The prevailing coloration is bright yellow-gold. The strike is bold, even accounting for a bit of high-point softness on the hair curls surrounding Liberty's face. A few tiny marks appear, the most obvious ones in the reverse fields, two above the eagle's head and one in the lower left field. A marvelous type coin, firmly at the top of the Condition Census. NGC Census: 1 in 66 Prooflike, 0 finer (2/11).

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 25FS, PCGS# 77692)

    Weight: 4.18 grams

    Metal: 89.92% Gold, 10.08% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Apr-May, 2011
    27th-1st Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,421

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Classic Head Quarter Eagles Die Variety Guide

    The series of Classic Head quarter eagles issued from 1834 to 1839 includes 28 different individual die varieties. To date nothing has been published regarding each of the varieties. This guide provides identification and photos of the individual varieties with an of rarity for each variety.

    Download the guide

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