US Coins

Market Analysis: 1808 $2.50 is a one-year type

Popular as a one-year type, this AU-50 1808 Capped Draped Bust $2.50 quarter eagle with a green CAC sticker realized $174,000 at the Goldberg auction.

Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers.

The 1808 Capped Draped Bust $2.50 quarter eagle is a one-year type that saw a low mintage of just 2,710 pieces, and then the denomination would go on hiatus until 1821.

John Dannreuther and Harry W. Bass Jr. estimate that 125 to 150 survive from this issue, each struck from the same die pair. The mintage was shipped to the Mint cashier on Feb. 26 of that year.

The obverse die failed early, and most examples — along with the subject offering — show a crack from the cap down to the inner point of star 8.

The coin in Ira and Larry Goldberg’s June 18 Pre-Long Beach sale was graded About Uncirculated 50 by Professional Coin Grading Service, with a Certified Acceptance Corp. green sticker, and sold for $174,000.

The catalogers observe some original luster remaining and add, “Strongly detailed, especially for the hair, feathers, and shield details. Free of adjustment marks and showing  great eye-appeal.”

As Q. David Bowers wrote in A Guide Book of Quarter Eagle Gold Coins, the small mintage, “on its own would suggest a rarity, but the demand for the coin as the only year of its design type has projected it into the forefront of popular rarities among American gold coins.”

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