1825 Quarter Eagle, MS64
1825 $2 1/2 MS64 PCGS. BD-2, High R.4. Bass-Dannreuther Die
State a/a. The 1825 Capped Head Left quarter eagle claims a mintage
of 4,434 pieces, quite small in absolute terms, but about average
in the context of the series. Three die varieties have been
identified for the date. This coin represents the BD-2 variety,
with a recut 5 in the date and the numerals in the fraction placed
far from the bar on the reverse. The BD-2 is the most common
variety for the issue, but it is still very scarce, with a
surviving population of 80-100 examples in all grades. The BD-2
probably accounted for 2,000-3,000 pieces of the reported mintage.
The obverse die was used again on the 1825 BD-3 variety and the
hardy reverse was used previously to strike all the quarter eagles
in 1821, 1824, and the 1825 BD-1 variety. The reverse failed in
this usage, showing terminal die cracks in the later die state.
Recut 5, Distant Fraction, BD-2 Variety
Only One Numerically Finer Coin at PCGS
Although the quarter eagle denomination was not heavily used in commerce, it was always popular with collectors because it had the lowest face value of the early gold coins, making it more affordable than its five or ten dollar counterparts. An early auction appearance was lot 2800 of the Sixth Semi-Annual Sale (W. Elliot Woodward, 3/1865):
"1825 Splendid, a proof impression, rare in this condition."
Present-day numismatists are divided on the question of whether the 1825 quarter eagle was ever actually struck in proof format, but John Dannreuther states that if proofs were coined they were probably struck from the BD-2 dies. A coin in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution has been called a proof, and it is a BD-2 example. However, Jeff Garrett doubts the proof status of the coin. Chances are the coin in Woodward's auction was a prooflike business-strike. It realized $5.00 to J.O. Emery, a reasonable price at the time. The auction record for this issue was set back in 1988, when a phenomenal coin that is now graded MS67 PCGS sold for $137,500 in Auction '88.
The present coin is a delightful MS64 example, with well-detailed design elements that show just a touch of softness on the shield. The bright yellow and greenish-gold surfaces are partially prooflike and show only minor signs of contact. Overall eye appeal is outstanding. Population: 5 in 64, 1 finer (2/14).
From the Collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 25FG, PCGS# 7664)
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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