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    1850 Quarter, PR62
    Four Proofs Extant

    1850 25C PR62 PCGS. Briggs 3-C. Rose, amber-russet, and golden-gray patina lightly colors each side. Limitless depth in the fields, a full strike, and square rims affirm this coin's proof status. Scattered contact marks limit the grade. However, none are singularly distracting, nor do they diminish the importance of this offering. Housed in a green label holder.

    Variety: Briggs 3-C. The widely spaced date is far left in relation to the shield point, and level and low relative to the base. The left base of the 1 is over the right edge of a dentil. The sharp stars show full centers. Briggs mentions no reverse diagnostic markers.

    Population Data (9/15): PCGS reports this PR62 example and a PR67 submission (the Pittman-Kaufman specimen). NGC shows one each in PR62 and PR65 .

    Heritage Commentary: When it comes to rarity, the 1850 proof quarter is in the same class as the 1841, of which an example is included earlier in this sale. Both issues survive to the extent of just four representatives. The finest 1850 example is a PR67 PCGS coin that traces its history to the collections of John Jay Pittman, Phil Kaufman, and possibly Harlan P. Smith. The same coin recently sold as lot 30406 in the Gardner Collection, Part I (Heritage, 6/2014).

    Walter Breen mentions in his Proof Encyclopedia that an 1850 silver-minor proof set, purchased directly from the Mint by Alexandre Vattemare, resided in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. John Dannreuther explains that the Bibliothèque sold the 1850 quarter in 1986 out of what was a complete proof set, rather than a silver-minor proof set as noted by Breen, to fund the acquisition of additional French coins. It is believed that that coin represents the PR65 NGC ranked second on the 1850 proof quarter roster (see the next lot in this sale).

    A third PR63 representative first appeared the J.H. South Collection in 1951. It eventually passed through the hands of Reed Hawn (Stack's, 3/1977) and Ellis Robison (Stack's, 2/1982), and last appeared in a Heritage auction in February 1984.

    This is the fourth 1850 proof quarter listed on the roster. Gene Gardner purchased the coin as lot 156 in the August 1998 Rarities sale conducted by Bowers and Merena, where it was described as: "Fully detailed with complete mirrored fields. Unquestionably a Proof striking. Light ivory with splashes of blue and amber iridescence. A most attractive example of this extremely rare Proof issue, one of just three Proof specimens we have traced."

    Provenance: Floyd T. Starr Collection (Stack's, 1/1993), lot 445; Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 8/1998), lot 156.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 23WD, PCGS# 5544)

    Weight: 6.68 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

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

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2015
    28th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
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