US Coins

Market Analysis: Much nicer than average quarter eagle

A sharper than usual 1856-D Coronet gold $2.50 quarter eagle graded AU-58 brought $50,400 on July 14. This Dahlonega Mint issue is notorious for being poorly produced.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

The gold coins issued by the Dahlonega Mint are particularly prone to poor-quality strikes, especially when compared with Philadelphia Mint issues of the same year. Heritage’s Florida United Numismatists summer convention auction saw an 1856-D Coronet gold $2.50 quarter eagle graded About Uncirculated 58 by Numismatic Guaranty Co. sell for $50,400.

Heritage wrote, “The 1856-D has a reputation as the worst-struck Dahlonega quarter eagle, and has a dubious claim to being the most poorly produced gold coin from any Mint in any denomination.” This one is counted among 50, or so, survivors of an original mintage of 874 pieces and is “quite a showpiece for the 1856-D.” Heritage praises the “gleaming, partially reflective surfaces,” and its “above-average definition.” Acknowledging the softness, the cataloger laments, “To be sure, the eagle is softly struck and most obverse elements lack any degree of sharpness — some things are unavoidable — but this example is far better than usually seen.”

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