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    Momentous 1829 Quarter Eagle, BD-1, MS64

    1829 $2 1/2 MS64 NGC. Breen-6132, BD-1, High R.4. Each of the six Capped Bust quarter eagle issues from the 1829 through 1834 With Motto is known by single die pairings. So few were made, there was simply no need for multiple dies for the coins, each produced in a range from 3,400 to 4,500 pieces per year.
    For most of early Mint history, the quarter eagle was the red-headed stepchild of American numismatics. In one of Walter Breen's more-poetic phrases that happens to be demonstrably true, he wrote concerning the early quarter eagle denomination in his 1988 Complete Encyclopedia:

    "The problem is less why the coins are rare, why so few were made to begin with, but why any were struck at all! To judge from available Archives records, they were ordered on whim by a few local banks (principally the Bank of Pennsylvania and the Bank of the United States); to judge from the condition of survivors, they spent most of their time in vaults. Between 1803 and 1833, the Mint's major output consisted of cents, half dollars, and half eagles; all other denominations had a kind of poor-relative status--seldom called for, few made, little welcome."

    In fact, from its first 1796 No Stars quarter eagle mintage in 1796 through the Capped Bust, With Motto issue of 1834, the Mint would eke out a stingy mintage of only 64,262 quarter eagles--23 Guide Book dates and varieties, with a total face value of $160,655. In comparison, the single 1802/1 half eagle mintage, by itself, was 53,176 pieces with a face value of $265,880.
    Because the quarter eagles of 1829 had a reduced diameter that required a proportional decrease in the size of the design and lettering, both the obverse and reverse are new for the year. The following year, 1830, saw a second reverse introduced, showing repunching on the U of UNITED; that reverse continued on the five issues up through the design's end in 1834. In other words, although all of the 1829-1834 With Motto quarter eagle issues are produced from single die pairings, there were six obverse dies--one obverse for each date--paired with only two reverse dies.
    The present near-Gem is sharply defined throughout and displays reflective, semiprooflike fields. A few minor hairlines and handling marks appear in the fields, but there are no serious impairments on this beautiful coin. The yellow-gold surfaces display no adjustment marks. The High R.4 rarity factor must be taken with a grain of salt, as this piece is also conditionally quite rare. NGC has certified only one specimen finer, with three others at PCGS (6/10). This piece represents a momentous opportunity for type collectors.(Registry values: P4) (NGC ID# BFW7, PCGS# 7669)

    Weight: 4.37 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2010
    8th-11th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,797

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