Problem-Free 1808 Quarter Eagle, VF30

    1808 $2 1/2 VF30 NGC. Breen-6125, BD-1, R.4. As early as 1807, there were concerns about Mint Chief Engraver Robert Scot's "health," for which read "poor eyesight." John Reich was hired as assistant engraver, no doubt over the strenuous objections of the older artisan. Mint Director Robert Patterson tasked the younger engraver with a total redesign of U.S. coinage, a direct insult, whether intended or not, to Scot. The coins that first drew his attention were the workhorses of the silver and gold denominations, the half dollar and half eagle. The Capped Bust, Lettered Edge half dollars made their debut in 1807, as did the Capped Bust to Left half eagles. In 1808 Reich redesigned the quarter eagle along the same lines, but while the larger-mintage half eagles were produced yearly from 1807 to 1812, the Capped Bust to Left quarter eagle was a one-year type coin, as quarter eagles were produced again only in 1821, with a new design.
    The 1808 quarter eagle is well-known to collectors as a difficult, elusive, and in-demand type, along with its close cousin, the 1796 No Stars quarter eagle. The small emission of 2,710 quarter eagles represents the sole appearance of Reich's design on the quarter eagle, and is responsible for the ceaseless demand for the issue from date and type collectors.
    This midgrade circulated specimen may fill some fortunate collector's want list, as it is a problem-free example of the type. The greenish-gold surfaces still show some contrast between the fields and devices, with muted luster present. There are, of course, a few light contact marks on each side, but no distracting scrapes or abrasions. The piece displays the usual die state, with an obverse die crack through the rear peak of the cap, continuing over the cap to the left, and through all stars on the right. Expect fierce bidding on this piece, and act accordingly.
    From The John Stimson, Sr. Collection, Part One.(Registry values: P8) (NGC ID# BFVZ, PCGS# 7660)

    Weight: 4.37 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper

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

    View all of [The John Stimson, Sr. Collection, Part One ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2008
    9th-12th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
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