US Coins

Early quarters among offerings in Legend Regency 61 sale

Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ Regency Auction 61 on Nov. 2 has some spectacular early quarter dollars from The Perfection Collection.

Carrying a top estimate of $180,000 is an 1837 Capped Bust quarter dollar graded Mint State 67 Prooflike by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker that is unique with a “PL” designation.

Six die pairs are known for this year, with A.W. Browning describing four in his 1925 book The Early Quarter Dollars of the United States, joined by two die pairs discovered later.

The offered coin is the relatively common B-2 marriage, where the eagle has no tongue and the reverse features tiny raised, wire-like wrappings around the rim. The recent 2010 book Early Quarter Dollars of the United States Mint by Rory R. Rea, Dr. Glenn Peterson, Bradley S. Karoleff, and John J. Kovach Jr., comments on this curious rim feature: “This may shed some light into how the Mint tried new methods in designing dentils,” adding, “If one were to take a wire and carefully wrap it around a ring you may get a feel for how things turn out.”

Legend’s catalogers note that the B-2 die pair was used to strike quarters that have been called Proofs, observing here a slight cameo-like contrast, a razor-sharp strike and “splashes of dappled and mottled blue, gold, teal, emerald, rose, and champagne” that highlight “the underlying antique silver hues.”

Another example from the B-2 marriage graded MS-67 by PCGS sold for $117,500 at the Sotheby’s and Stack’s Bowers first D. Brent Pogue sale in 2015, where the cataloger linked the handful of beautifully preserved representatives with an absence of silver coins in circulation in 1837.

Another standout, an 1820 Capped Bust, Large 0 quarter dollar representing the B-2 variety for that year, graded MS-66 by PCGS and bearing a green CAC sticker, has a top estimate of $100,000. It was formerly in the Pogue collection where it sold for $94,000 in May 2015. It’s possibly the finest-known of the die marriage and was unlisted in the 2010 reference book’s condition census, as it had sold privately to Pogue from the Lawrence R. Stack Type Collection.

The 2015 Pogue catalog entry praised its cartwheel luster, calling it “a spectacularly toned specimen with immense aesthetic appeal,” and observing: “Centers of blended peach, rose, and gold are surrounded by Caribbean blue, the obverse more pronounced while the reverse shows the same colors in a more subtle array.”

A B-10 1806 Draped Bust quarter dollar graded PCGS MS-64 with a green CAC sticker was also once part of the Pogue collection and realized $54,343.75 when offered at Pogue I in May 2015, where it was called the finest-known of the variety.

The B-10 die pair was absent in Browning’s 1925 book, as it was discovered only after the book was at the binders, and this example was the fourth example of the variety discovered. It was cherrypicked by Walter Breen at the 1958 American Numismatic Association auction and is the plate coin of the variety in the 2010 multi-author reference to the series. Its early provenance can be traced back to the Matthew Adams Stickney collection, where it was acquired before 1854.

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