US Coins

Market Analysis: Huge price for 'Holy Cow' 1949-D quarter in Legend Las Vegas auction

Collectors rarely get excited about 1949-D Washington quarter dollars. It saw a sizable mintage of more than 10 million and Mint State survivors were saved in large quantities. PCGS has graded 80 in MS-67 and these can sell for as little as $200. The population thins in higher grades, with PCGS reporting 13 in MS-67+ and three in MS-68 that are tied as the finest known. 

Two PCGS MS-67+ 1949-D Washington quarters with green CAC stickers that recently sold at Heritage provide a useful case study. At the February 2018 Long Beach auctions, Heritage sold one with mottled pink toning for $660. At its recent June Long Beach sale, a more brilliant one sold for a whopping $7,800. Same grade, yes, but very different coins. 

For its PCGS MS-68 CAC offering at Legend’s June 27 auction in Las Vegas, the firm's cataloger praised the coin's satiny luster and a total absence of contact marks, writing, “A MONSTER in every way, we rate the swirling rainbow hues that blanket the obverse a 10 out of 10 on our color scale. Aside from the SUPERB aesthetic quality, this coin’s technical qualities are all there and then some!”

It brought $43,475, handily surpassing its estimate of $12,000 to $14,000. 

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