US Coins

Stacks Bowers reveals details of Pogue II coins

Graded PCGS MS-66+, Pogue’s 1821 Capped Head gold $2.50 quarter eagle is considered a Proof strike by some advanced numismatists.

Images courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries has released details of the 105 lots of early U.S. coins to be offered Sept. 30 comprising the Part II sale of the D. Brent Pogue Collection.

The sale is scheduled to be held at Sotheby’s auction galleries at 38 E. 61st St. in New York City. Stack’s Bowers and Sotheby’s are jointly selling the collection.

The auction comprises a total of 105 lots spanning five different series covering five different denominations — early silver half dollars and dollars, and gold $2.50 quarter eagles, $5 half eagles and $10 eagles.

The 105 lots to be offered are 19 Capped Bust half dollars from 1807 through 1822; seven Flowing Hair dollars, one 1794 and six 1795; 21 quarter eagles from 1821 through 1839; 22 half eagles 1795 through 1807; and 15 eagles from 1795 through 1804.

Among the gold coin offerings in the sale is an 1821 Capped Head quarter eagle graded Mint State 66+ by Professional Coin Grading Service.

The coin’s pedigree lists among its previous owners noted numismatists John H. Clapp, Lorin G. Parmelee, Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. and Jimmy Hayes.

While PCGS’s graders certified the coin as a Mint State circulation strike, some advanced numismatists consider the piece to be an example of a Proof coin.

When Bowers and Ruddy Galleries Inc. sold it in the October 1982 sale of Eliasberg’s gold holdings, which was billed as The United States Gold Coin Collection, the auction lot listing described the coin as “Gem Proof-67.”

In Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties: A Study of Dies, 1795-1834 by John Dannreuther and Harry W. Bass Jr., the entry for the 1821 quarter eagle issue, BD-1, notes that of 6,448 examples of that date recorded struck, only 50 to 60 examples are known to exist. 

Only a small number of the total known are considered to be Proofs.

Dannreuther explains in his reference that it’s possible Proofs were struck on more than one date in 1821.

Some of the circulation strikes and some of the Proof examples exhibit a depression on Liberty’s cheek, just to the right of the corner of Liberty’s lips. The depression was likely caused by some fragment adhering to a die during the preparation of the Proof dies. The fragment, according to Dannreuther, may have been removed or simply fell off during some of the circulation production.

An 1821 Capped Head quarter eagle that is definitively identified as a Proof strike in the National Numismatic Collection does not have the cheek depression on the obverse.

Numismatist John Kraljevich Jr., who is cataloging the Pogue coins, says Pogue’s 1821 quarter eagle does exhibit the cheek depression.

A number of Mint State examples, including one from the Bass Collection, exhibit prooflike surfaces, an indication of having been struck early in the production process for circulation, according to the Dannreuther-Bass reference.

For more information on the sale and other lots to be offered, visit the Stack’s Bowers Galleries website at

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