Choice Mint State 1833 Quarter Eagle

    1833 $2 1/2 MS64 NGC. Breen-6136, Bass-3030, BD-1, R.5. A new design modification made its first appearance on the quarter eagles and half eagles in 1829. The occasion for this new design was incorporation of new technology at the Mint--the closed or close collar that imparted a "mathematical equality" to the diameter of struck coinage, according to Mint Director Samuel Moore. William Kneass had been hired to replace Robert Scot as the chief engraver, and it is he who is credited with this design. Actually, the design is essentially the same as the previous design, although the hair has a more luxurious appearance, and the borders now consist of beads rather than dentils. The reverse is nearly identical to the previous design. In fact, only two reverse dies were used for the entire design type issued from 1829 to 1834. The 1829 reverse has a square-based large 2 in the denomination, while the reverse used from 1830 through 1834 has a curve-based large 2 and also has the letter U in UNITED repunched.
    This example is from the constant die state of the variety. Faint cracks connecting the upper and lower knobs of each 3 in the date are the result of a defective punch, and not actual cracks in the physical coinage die. Dannreuther discusses this at some length in his reference, noting: "the duplication of the exact crack on the 3 of the dimes indicates a defective punch, not a die that cracked."
    This is a splendid near-Gem example of the date, second rarest of this design type behind the 1834 With Motto issue. Only about 60 to 80 examples of this date are known, according to Dannreuther, although this cataloger believes that the total may be closer to 100 pieces. Regardless, the entire design type is rare, with well under 1,000 surviving examples of all dates from 1829 to 1834. In fact, the true number of survivors is probably closer to 500 than to 1,000 coins. Both sides exhibit the usual grade-consistent abrasions. The surfaces have brilliant yellow luster with reflective fields. The usual minor design weakness is evident at the centers, just like nearly every other non-proof example of this date.
    From The Freedom Collection.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# BFWC, PCGS# 7673)

    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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