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    Description

    1873-CC No Arrows Quarter, MS63
    Ex: Louis Eliasberg, Waldo Bolen
    One of Three Mint State Examples Known
    The Rarest American Quarter Issue

    1873-CC 25C No Arrows MS63 PCGS. Briggs 1-A. Ex: Eliasberg. The 1873-CC No Arrows quarter is among the few most important coins in the entire Gene Gardner Collection, a legendary rarity that attracts the notice of advanced collectors at every offering. The surfaces of this example -- one of only three Mint State survivors -- display thick mint frost amid the prevailing dove-gray patina, contrasted against mottled shades of pale olive, rose, and smoke-gray. The strike is sharp overall through the centers, although several of the right-side obverse stars lack their radials. The reverse is well brought up throughout, and there are no marks on either side worthy of singular mention. Two tiny ticks on the lower reverse, to the left of the mintmark, suffice for pedigree purposes.

    Variety: Briggs 1-A, the only known dies.

    Population Data (4/15): The current PCGS Population Report shows one each in MS63, MS64, and MS66. NGC reports one XF40, one MS64, and one MS66. But duplications are present; see below.

    Heritage Commentary: Only five examples survive of the 1873-CC No Arrows quarter, including three in Mint State and two well-circulated coins. The finest is an MS66 PCGS (formerly MS66 NGC) example formerly owned by James A. Stack. The second-finest is the F.C.C. Boyd "World's Greatest Collection"-Norweb example in MS64 PCGS (formerly MS64 NGC). The present Eliasberg-Waldo Bolen-Gene Gardner example, MS63 PCGS, makes up the third and last of the known Mint State survivors.

    The 1873-CC No Arrows quarters, like their dime counterparts, only one of which survives today, were made redundant by the slight weight increase for silver coinage enacted that same year and embodied in the With Arrows design type. The known 1873-CC No Arrows quarter survivors almost certainly got out into the numismatic community via a couple of pieces set aside for the Assay Commission, and apparently via unknown other routes as well (certain Mint employees and their cohorts during this time period practiced slippery ethics, to put it mildly).

    Two circulated survivors are known, including one XF40 NGC piece and a lower-grade coin (exact grade unknown) that was owned by Leon Hendrickson and authenticated by Larry Briggs, described in a Numismatic News 1996 article.

    The 1873-CC No Arrows quarters were struck to the extent of 4,000 pieces in January 1873. But the Mint Act of 1873, increasing the weight of minor silver coinage by a minuscule amount to conform to metric equivalents, required the placing of arrows on each side of the redesigned coinage to indicate their weight variance. Virtually all of the 1873-CC No Arrows quarters were melted before ever leaving the Carson City Mint.

    The Gene Gardner Collection 1873-CC No Arrows quarter is an old friend come back for another visit; we previously offered it as part of the Waldo E. Bolen Collection of 1873-CC Coinage during our Central States Signature in April 1999. Waldo Bolen managed the incredible feat of assembling one example of every U.S. dime issue save for the unique 1873-CC No Arrows dime, another ex: Eliasberg issue. When Bolen managed to buy the 1873-CC No Arrows dime from the Eliasberg Collection for $550,000, his U.S. dime collection was complete. The acquisition also spurred him to go on and assemble a complete 11-piece set of 1873-CC coinage. The 1873-CC No Arrows dime sold in the Bolen Collection for $632,500, and it more recently traded hands in the Battle Born Collection (Stack's Bowers, 8/2012) for $1,840,000.

    This 1873-CC No Arrows quarter is not unique; as mentioned, three Mint State examples are known. But it is a coin of immense importance and rarity, and likely to be pursued by the same echelon of bidders as those who would bid on the dime. (The dime and quarter issues have similar backstories -- some minted, most melted.) The present piece will also be pursued by the legions of Seated quarter enthusiasts. Astute numismatists will pounce on this opportunity, as it may be many years to come before another example is offered at auction.

    Consignor Commentary: The Eliasberg coin and an incredible rarity with just five known specimens, three of which are Mint State. The James A. Stack seems to rank highest, followed by the Norweb coin and then this specimen. As David Bowers noted in the Eliasberg catalog, this coin is not only the rarest Liberty Seated quarter, but the rarest of any quarter in the entire series (just nosing out the 1827). A lovely coin, naturally toned with an average strike. In the unlikely event that this coin would ever need attribution, a small die break on the reverse connects the denticles to the D in UNITED.

    Provenance: Carson City Mint; U.S. Assay Commission; John W. Haseltine (1874); Stephen K. Nagy; William H. Woodin; H.O. Granberg; Granberg Collection (B. Max Mehl, 7/1919), lot 358; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Collection (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 1503; Waldo E. Bolen, Jr.; Waldo E. Bolen, Jr. Collection of 1873-CC Coinage / Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/1999), lot 5926, as MS62 PCGS; Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, 3/2005), lot 1480, as MS63 NGC; Orlando Sale (Stack's, 1/2009), lot 338, as MS63 PCGS; Gene Gardner. Mr. Gardner writes that he bought this coin "for an arm and both legs."(Registry values: P10) (NGC ID# BZVL, PCGS# 5486)

    Weight: 6.22 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    12th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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