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    1827 Capped Head Left Quarter Eagle, MS64
    BD-1, Last of the Large-Diameter Subtype

    1827 $2 1/2 BD-1, R.5, MS64 PCGS Secure. Bass-Dannreuther Die State a/c, the sole dies known for the year 1827 -- and the only die pair required for the meager reported mintage of 2,800 pieces. John Dannreuther actually estimates that as few as 1,750 examples might have been struck bearing this date, the balance being the 1826/6 (aka 1826/'5') issue.

    The 1827 date is sufficient to attribute the obverse, and the reverse die was carried over from uses in both 1825 and 1826. In the middle year of its use, the dies clashed (see the AU58 PCGS 1826/'5' in the present Platinum Night session) on both sides; the reverse die was lapped before it entered service with the 1827 obverse. As can be seen on the present coin, the lapping or die polishing removed most (but not all) of the earlier clash marks.

    The 1827 quarter eagle issue represents the last year of what the Red Book terms the Capped Head to Left, Large Diameter subtype, struck from 1821 through this year. The next quarter eagle mintage, that of 1829, would introduce the Capped Head Left, Reduced Diameter coins, slightly smaller at 18.2 mm versus 18.5 mm. The 1827 thus represents a last-year subtype, while the Reduced Diameter subtype would continue through the 1834 With Motto issue.

    Despite whatever number may have been struck of the 1827 originally, all of the Capped Head Left (1821-34) quarter eagles met a similar fate when the Mint Act of 1834 proportionally reduced net gold content of all gold coinage, making the so-called "old tenor" gold worth more as melt than as money. All of those dates are rare today, as are their half eagle counterparts for similar reasons.

    The present near-Gem is among two in this grade at PCGS, which reports a single MS65 finer (10/15). Generous luster is appreciable throughout both sides of this nicely preserved piece, which shows a few distributed, small marks but overall is quite high-end for the grade. The strike is well-executed overall on a well-centered, showing sharp centers on all stars and a wealth of pleasing detail on Liberty's hair and most of the eagle details, save for minor softness on the left-side and lower feathers. Finding an example of this date in higher technical grade or showing finer aesthetics would entail and long and possibly futile search.
    From The McCoy Family Collection of U.S. Early Gold Quarter Eagles. (NGC ID# BFW6, Variety PCGS# 45522, Base PCGS# 7666)

    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
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