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    1821 Capped Head Quarter Eagle, MS62
    BD-1, Only 6,448 Pieces Struck, Most Melted

    1821 $2 1/2 MS62 NGC. BD-1, R.5. Ex: Freedom Collection. It had been 13 years since the last quarter eagles were coined until this denomination was resumed again. Production remained low with 6,448 quarter eagles produced in 1821, and this mintage was more than one-third the total output for the entire design from 1821 through 1827. Based on mintage figures alone, the rarity of the entire type can be seen, with just 17,042 pieces struck during that period. But the mintage was not everything, as John Dannreuther points out: "Besides the usual factors that remove coins from circulation--wear, loss, and so on--the early gold issues faced another factor that doomed many of them. Pre-1834 old coins were melted after the June 28, 1834 passage of the act reducing the weight of gold coins."

    After John Reich left the Mint, Robert Scot was the only engraver that remained, and it is he who is given credit for this design, actually a modification of Reich's earlier design. Scot is a mysterious figure among the various chief engravers who served the Mint over the years. He received his appointment to the Mint staff on November 23, 1793, and remained until his death in late 1823. Many years earlier, at about the time John Reich joined the Mint, Scot's future potential had been discussed by Mint Director Patterson who stated that he was "so advanced in life, that he cannot very long be expected to continue his labors." At the time, Robert Scot was 62 years old, and Patterson was 64!

    The 1821 quarter eagle is the first issue of this design, and the entire mintage is from a single die pair. The first examples were proofs, struck from polished dies. Because so few business strikes were coined after the proofs, nearly all have reflective surfaces as on this coin. Both sides are lightly abraded as expected for the grade. A few faint hairlines are also evident. The central design motifs are boldly defined, and the stars near the obverse border are fully detailed. The surfaces have fully brilliant green-gold color with satin luster.
    Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2007), lot 3393.
    From the Collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# BFW3, PCGS# 7662)

    Weight: 4.37 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper

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

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2014
    20th Thursday
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