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    1850 Seated Quarter, PR65
    Second Finest of Four Examples
    Traced Directly to the Philadelphia Mint
    Continuous Provenance 165 Years Long

    1850 25C PR65 NGC. Briggs 3-C. Rich shades of violet, rose, cobalt-blue, and mint-green encompass each side of this extremely rare Gem proof Seated quarter, coloring the deeply mirrored surfaces. Squared-off rims frame fully struck devices, as expected, though the effect is no less impressive. There are a few signs of minor contact in the reverse field. Distinctive spots of lighter toning appear mostly on the obverse.

    Variety: Briggs 3-C. The date is low and level with the right edge of the 1 aligned with the fifth vertical line in the shield. Die defects on the lower-left and upper-right portions of the 0 further confirm the proof origin.

    Population Data (9/15): NGC reports one PR62 and this PR65. PCGS shows one PR62 submission with one PR67 finer.

    Heritage Commentary: The 1850 proof Seated quarter is one of the rarest issues in the entire series. It has been reported that only three proofs are extant, though our auction records suggest four examples survive (see roster below). This coin derives from a complete proof set obtained directly from the Mint in 1850 by French national Alexandre Vattemare. The set was bequeathed to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, where it currently resides. According to John Dannreuther, this proof quarter was traded out of the set for French coins missing from the National Collection in 1986. David Akers noted in the Pittman catalog that it was displayed in the showcase of Tangible Investments of America at the 1998 FUN convention.

    Boasting a complete and continuous numismatic provenance over the past 165 years since its striking, this is a coin of monumental importance.

    Roster of 1850 Proof Seated Liberty Quarters
    1. PR67 PCGS. Possibly from Harlan P. Smith (Chapman Brothers, 5/1906), lot 820; acquired by John Jay Pittman from R. Green (5/1949); John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1317; Phil Kaufman Collection / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2008), lot 3035; Greensboro Collection, Part IV (Heritage, 8/2013), lot 5591; Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part I (Heritage, 6/2014), lot 30406.
    2. PR65 NGC. Purchased directly from the Mint by Alexandre Vattemare (1850); Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; Ed Hipps (1986); Richmond Collection, Part III (David Lawrence Rare Coins, 3/2005), lot 1521; Jason Carter; purchased by Gene Gardner (4/2005). The present coin.
    3. PR63. J.H. South Collection (Stack's, 5/1951), lot 515; Central States Convention Sale (RARCOA, 4/1976), lot 218; Reed Hawn Collection (Stack's, 3/1977), lot 310; Ellis Robison (Stack's, 2/1982), lot 1318; Heritage (2/1984), lot 956.
    4. PR62 PCGS. Floyd T. Starr Collection (Stack's, 1/1993), lot 445; Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 8/1998), lot 156; Gene Gardner.

    Additional Appearances
    A. Proof. John F. McCoy (W. Elliot Woodward, 5/1864), lot 379. A five-piece silver proof set sold for $25 to "Levett" (probably George Leavitt).
    B. Proof. Joseph J. Mickley (W. Elliot Woodward, 10/1867), lot 1720. A five-piece silver proof set sold for $35 to William Lilliendahl.
    C. Floyd Starr reported seeing an 1850 silver proof set in the possession of coin dealer William Hesslein in 1923.
    D. Gem Proof. Arizona State National Convention (Vintage, 10/1988). Possibly number 2 on the roster.(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: 13
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