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    Description

    Gem Cameo Proof 1893 Isabella Quarter

    1893 25C Isabella Quarter PR65 NGC. Susan B. Anthony insisted that women should have adequate representation at the World's Columbian Exposition, in the form of a Board of Lady Managers. Four centuries earlier, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain provided the necessary funding for the voyage of Columbus. Therefore, it was certainly fitting that the Queen be depicted on the obverse of this commemorative quarter dollar. The quarter itself was suggested by Mrs. Potter Palmer, Chicago socialite and "grande dame of the Exposition," per Dave Bowers. Mrs. Palmer suggested that $10,000 of the appropriations for the Board of Lady Managers be provided in the form of a special commemorative quarter dollar. Legislation was drawn and approved March 3, 1893, authorizing a total issue of 40,000 such coins. Various designs were prepared, and eventually the Isabella quarter was issued, the first legal tender United States coin to depict a foreign monarch. The entire issue of 40,000 coins were actually struck, along with 23 additional assay coins, however, a portion of the mintage was never distributed at the one-dollar issue price, and eventually were returned to be melted. The net mintage of this issue, therefore, was 24,214 coins (Walter Breen reported 24,191, the total without the assay coins).
    In his reference on commemorative coins, co-authored by Anthony Swiatek, Walter Breen recorded the characteristics of true proofs of this issue, all matching the present coin: "As all proof Isabella quarters have been doubted at one time or another, collectors are advised that the piece illustrated on the preceding page
    This Gem proof has fully brilliant white color without any indication of toning on either side. The mirrored fields are quite deep with only a few miniscule hairlines and abrasions. These mirrored fields intersect the devices with crisp, clear junctions that leave no question of the proof status of this example. The devices are finely detailed and fully defined, exactly as they appeared in the dies. There is absolutely no evidence of weakness on either side. A small dark toning spot is hidden in the details just below Queen Isabella's necklace, and this is the only blemish that is worthy of note.(#9221) (NGC ID# BYMM, PCGS# 9221)


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    September, 2004
    9th-11th Thursday-Saturday
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