US Coins

Market Analysis: "Blundered Die" Capped Bust quarters

This PCGS Good 6 1822 25C over 50C quarter dollar, Browning-2, and a Fine 12 1828 25C over 50C quarter, B-3, share the same reverse die. They sold respectively for $4,440 and $4,560 at Heritage’s offering of Lusk’s collection.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

One of the things that makes collecting early coins by die variety so popular is that the engravers at the Philadelphia Mint were imperfect. Mistakes were frequent, like the “Blundered Die” seen on this Capped Bust quarter dollar reverse, where the engraver initially punched the denomination as 50C and then corrected it to 25C.

Jon Lusk offered a duo: an 1822 25C over 50C quarter dollar, Browning-2 (as cataloged in Ard W. Browning’s Early Quarter Dollars of the United States) graded Good 6 that sold for $4,440, and an 1828 B-3 25 over 50C quarter graded Fine 12 that sold for $4,560 in a Heritage sale.

Both were certified by Professional Coin Grading Service, and each clearly shows the correction, which researcher Walter Breen characterized as “so unsightly a result that the die was laid aside in horror.” However, that was not enough to keep the defective die from being used again in 1828.

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