Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Newly Discovered 1831 Quarter Eagle
    Struck on a Dime Planchet, Good 6

    1831 $2 1/2 Quarter Eagle Struck on a Dime Planchet Good 6 NGC. 2.33 gm. Over the years we have handled many, many error coins, but this is undoubtedly the most strikingly obvious and interesting error we have ever handled. It is classified in the rather pedestrian category of an off-metal striking. Such coins are common among error coins, but this is such an unusual piece that it immediately grabs the attention of any coin collector.
    At the Summer ANA we offered the Ed Price Collection of Dime and Quarter Eagle Varieties. The crux of that collection was the interchangeability of dime and quarter eagle dies. For those who lack a copy of the catalog, it is a worthy addition to any numismatic library. In the earliest years of the Mint, dime and quarter eagle reverse dies were used on each denomination--apparently a conscious decision. The planchet sizes were close, 19 mm for the dimes and 20 mm for the quarter eagles. The diameter of each denomination was later reduced when new machinery was introduced. The dime's diameter was reduced to 18.5 mm beginning in 1809, and the quarter eagle to 18.2 mm in 1829. It is not a stretch to imagine the Mint striking a batch of dimes with a few unstruck planchets remaining in the hopper, then striking a run of quarter eagles, a couple of which were struck on leftover dime planchets. Only 0.3 mm separated the size of the two planchets, an imperceptible difference to the casual inspector.
    What happened next is fairly obvious: nothing. This piece entered the channels of commerce and circulated as a dime for many years. Only recently and after 54 points of wear did someone notice that the design was inconsistent with that of an 1831 dime. This piece was found in a bag of silver in North Texas, in May of this year. It is always interesting to scan the "Found in Rolls" column in Coin World. Foreign coins, tokens, silver coins are constantly found in rolls. But an 1831 quarter eagle struck on a dime planchet in a bag of silver?
    This is the second example of this off-metal striking that is known. The other piece is high-grade and has a distinguished pedigree including Brand, Opezzo, Farouk, Judd, and Sloss. It has been off the market since 1974, when it was traded privately, then it was withdrawn from the 1979 ANA Sale. Over the years that piece has been listed and delisted as a possible pattern. It has been listed in the Judd book as Judd-49, and in Andrew Pollock's reference as Pollock-50. It was also listed in the 1913 Adams-Woodin pattern reference as AW-39. Don Taxay listed it in the 1976 Scott Catalogue as an error.
    Regardless of its listing in pattern references, no one seems to have taken the previously known piece seriously as a pattern. Both of the two known coins were struck 30-40 years before the "made to order" rarities were produced by the Mint, so chicanery would seem to be out of the question, especially when one considers the extensive circulation on this example. There seems to be no confusion about the status of this piece as the website states: "Although listed by Judd as a regular dies trial piece struck in silver, Taxay describes this as a mint error, struck on a dime planchet which your editor believes is the more likely scenario. At least 2 examples are known ... The other [this coin] is the illustrated example where it was slabbed by NGC as a Mint Error."
    As one would expect from a Good 6 coin, the surfaces show extensive signs of circulation. Several planchet flaws are still apparent on each side and serve to identify this piece. The devices are silvery and serve as an accent against the charcoal-gray fields.
    This piece is a cataloger's favorite. It is a wonderful coin to preface with, "What's wrong with this picture?" and is even more dramatic when seen alongside a true 1831 silver dime in similar grade. It is jarring to see this quarter eagle design in silver. In a photograph the coin certainly looks unusual, but in person it is even more impressive. Truly a must-see lot.

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

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  | NGC Coin Grading Guarantee  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2008
    17th-21st Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 7,075

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 December 6 - 7 HKINF World Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I cannot say enough how much I appreciate Heritage and everything they do for the hobby I love.
    Rick B.,
    Jacksonville, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 July 12 - 15 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando
    2018 July 12 - 15 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando
    REALIZED $6,048,212
    2018 June 28 - 29 HKINF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2018 June 28 - 29 HKINF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED $3,031,505
    2018 June 27 - 29 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2018 June 27 - 29 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED $1,341,736