Miraculous Wonder Coin, 1852 No Motto Eagle, MS66
    Finest Certified and Tied for Finest of the Entire Type
    at Both Services Combined

    1852 $10 MS66 PCGS. This coin is simply a marvelous condition rarity, one of those phenomenal coins that is completely at odds with the typical population and in theory should not exist! In his still-valuable 1980 reference, David Akers writes of the 1852 eagle, "The mintage of the 1852 is fairly high by No Motto Eagle standards and almost identical to that of the 1851-O which is only a moderately scarce date. However, the 1852 is very scarce in all grades and rare in AU condition. In full mint state it is very rare and I have seen only two uncirculated examples that I called 'choice' along with three or four others of average (bagmarked) quality. The 1852 is similar in overall rarity to the 1848 and more rare than the 1847, 1847-O, 1849, 1850, 1851-O and 1853. It is certainly not the 'common date' type coin the mintage and the standard pricing guides would lead one to believe."
    More recently Garrett and Guth, in their 2006 gold Encyclopedia, note that "the 1852 eagle is a relatively common date, but nowhere near as common as the mintage indicates. For instance, the population (all major services combined) of the 1852 is only 699 coins versus over 1,000 for the 1851-O--yet the two dates have nearly identical mintages. Extremely Fine and AU coins are scarce, and Mint State examples are downright rare. The terminal grade for this date would have been MS-62 except for an incredible PCGS MS-66 coin (one of the three finest No Motto eagles of any date; this remarkable coin was sold as a PCGS MS-65 in January 2005 for $130,410)!" (Emphasis ours.)
    A Heritage cataloger, writing in late 2004 when this coin was graded a "mere" MS65, had this to say about the coin:
    "Where does one start when they have just seen one of the nicest No Motto eagles in existence? This mesmerizing 1852 ten dollar comes from a comparatively high original mintage of 263,106 pieces, but important gold collections have been known to contain nothing higher than an AU example and even an average Mint State representative is legitimately scarce. Perhaps the best way to illustrate the importance of this offering is cite census data for the issue. A total of 42 coins have been certified MS60 or better by the two major grading services, a figure that probably includes at least eight to 10 resubmissions. Of this total, a mere 17 pieces qualified at the MS62 level and above that just one coin achieved a higher grade, this amazing MS65.
    "Endowed with a needle-sharp strike and bountiful, billowy luster, the surfaces have acquired a touch of reddish patina overall along with tinges of olive at the margins. A few discreet blemishes in the left obverse field barely graze the satiny luster, and a relatively inoffensive mark on Liberty's neck is perhaps the only mentionable distraction. Picking a favorite coin from the star-studded Gold Rush Collection is arguably an impossible task, but this amazing 1852 eagle, the finest certified by three points, certainly makes the final cut."
    Since those sentences were written, the coin has been resubmitted and achieved an MS66 grade, so it is now the finest known by four points. The total Mint State pieces at NGC and PCGS combined have surged to 69 (amazing the effect a world-record price can create in revealing uncertified coins), including 29 MS62 PCGS coins and five more at NGC that are the next-highest; but the MS66 (ex-65) specimen in the present lot continues to stand alone, a miraculous wonder coin. Interestingly, while the number of certified Mint State 1852s at PCGS has increased since the 2005 sale, the number of No Motto eagles certified MS66 has not: as of (11/07) PCGS has certified precisely three MS66 pieces: the present 1852, an 1848-O, and an 1861. (NGC has certified a single 1848-O in MS66.) PCGS population: 29 in 62, one finer (the present MS66 coin).
    Ex: The Gold Rush Collection; Heritage FUN Signature Sale 360 (1/2005), lot 30057, which brought $130,410.
    From The Madison Collection.
    (Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 263C, PCGS# 8608)

    Weight: 16.72 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

    View all of [The Madison Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2008
    9th-12th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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