US Coins

Market Analysis: 1797 Capped Bust quarter eagle with multiple problems

There are coins with light problems, like gentle improper cleaning, and then there are coins with major issues, like a 1797 Capped Bust gold $2.50 quarter eagle graded Numismatic Conservation Services, Very Fine Details, Mount Removed, Damaged, that was sold at auction recently.

The coin was among Heritage Auction’s offering of The Poulos Family Collection at its recent Long Beach auctions in California. 

While little original surface remains, the diagnostic die break on the obverse from the Y in LIBERTY to the star is clear, identifying it as a Bass-Dannreuther 1, Die State b/a. The 13 stars on the obverse are arranged seven to the left of the head and six to the right, while the reverse has 16 stars above the eagle. 

John Dannreuther estimates that from a mintage of 427 to 585 coins, as many as 25 survive today, and nearly all of these are well into five-figure prices. 

This one has extensive smoothing in the obverse fields, and the field near the date is tooled, LIBERTY was strengthened and the Heraldic eagle’s tail is also tooled. It sold for $6,000 in Long Beach, a tiny improvement on the $5,875 it sold for in March 2014 at Heritage’s offering of the collection of Donald E. Bently.

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