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    1824/1 Two and a Half, BD-1, MS64
    Tied for Finest Graded
    Finest We Have Offered in 15 Years

    1824/1 $2 1/2 BD-1, R.5, MS64 PCGS Secure. Bass-Dannreuther Die State a/a. When the Philadelphia Mint proceeded to strike quarter eagles in 1824, they took an unused 1821-dated obverse (the closest year previous to 1824 that saw quarter eagles struck), overdated it to an 1824/1, and reused the same 1821 reverse. But only 6,448 pieces were struck for the 1821 date (from a different obverse die) plus 2,600 of the 1824/1, and through all 9,000-plus pieces, the reverse die maintained visibly the same state, developing no cracks or defects. The obverse die also remained intact, and no later die states are documented in Bass-Dannreuther, the latest resource. (Careful study of the obverse die with regard to the star placement in relation to the denticles is necessary to confirm that the 1821 obverse used and the overdated 1824/1 are, in fact, different dies, although superficially they appear quite similar.)

    Some one-sided proofs are known of this issue, including one in the Smithsonian Institution and one remaining in the Harry Bass Core Collection. A second Harry Bass example, "Wonderful bright yellow gold example of this important issue ... brilliant, frosty lustre with a hint of reflective prooflike surface ... very slightly bent, almost imperceptibly so," was graded MS60 and sold as lot 267 in the Bass, Part II Collection (Bowers and Merena, 10/1999), where it brought $14,375.

    This splendid MS64 PCGS example of this rare date (all 1796-1834 quarter eagles are rare) offers much prooflike reflectivity on both sides, although there is no evidence that this piece was intended as a one-sided (or two-sided, for that matter) proof or presentation strike. The caramel-gold surfaces nonetheless show an exemplary strike and excellent overall preservation; a thin scrape in the obverse left field near star 2 provides a pedigree marker but is far from overt. Strong luster present throughout is created by the extensive die-polishing lines visible on both sides. The present coin is tied for the finest graded at PCGS with one other -- demonstrably different examples, as both are depicted on PCGS CoinFacts (10/15).

    This is the first MS64 PCGS example of this issue we have offered since we began our Permanent Auction Archives in 1993. Only twice before, in 2000 and 2001, have we offered MS64 NGC examples (actually the same example twice). NGC currently reports only a single MS64+ in this numeric level. Specialists in early gold will take note of this special coin and act accordingly.
    From The McCoy Family Collection of U.S. Early Gold Quarter Eagles. (NGC ID# BFW4, Variety PCGS# 45517, Base PCGS# 7663)

    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 McCoy Family Collection of U.S. Early Gold Quarter Eagles ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    6th-11th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    The pre-sale publicity was more than I imagined, and the actual catalog better than I had expected - and my expectations were high!
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