Legendary 1863 Quarter Eagle, PR63 Cameo1863 $2 1/2 PR63 Cameo NGC. The 1863 quarter eagle is a legendary rarity. Quarter eagles of that year were only struck in proof format (a reported mintage of 30 pieces). As indicated by Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth in their 2006 Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins: "Very few United States coins have a total mintage of only 30 coins; therefore, the issue is very popular and trades for substantial sums when offered for sale." We might add, in this regard, that the 1863 shows up at auction only infrequently.
The above authors estimate that there are 15 to 20 1863 proof quarter eagles known in all grades. Walter Breen, in his 1989 Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins, enumerates between nine and 11 specimens that he considers to be different, and records the existence of possibly six more. And in his 1986 Reference to United States Federal Gold Coinage, Volume II, The Quarter Eagles, Paul Taglione writes: "The research of the present author traces 12 separate examples and it would not surprise me if 13 or 14 specimens constituted the actual population of the 1863."
NGC/PCGS population figures are more or less in line with the above estimates. The two services have certified 21 quarter eagles of 1863 to date (6/09), an unknown number of which are likely resubmitted or crossover pieces. At any rate, it would appear that the total number of survivors does not exceed 16 to 18 coins.
The following Select offering displays rich orange-gold coloration over the obverse, while yellow-gold dominates the reverse. Reflective fields highlight the moderately frosted design features, all of which have been subjected to an exacting strike. Impeccably preserved surfaces enhance the coin's overall impressive eye appeal. Indeed, it is only the presence of a few wispy marks in the fields that likely precludes a higher numerical grade. We mention a couple of faint marks to the left of Liberty's nose and another beneath the A in STATES solely for pedigree purposes. Census: 3 in 63 Cameo, 1 finer (6/09).
Ex: probably The Ed Trompeter Collection, Part 1 (Superior Galleries, 2/1992), lot 43; Stack's (10/1997), lot 1011.
From The R.M. Phillips Limited Partnership Collection.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 287H, PCGS# 87889)
Weight: 4.18 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
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