US Coins

Market Analysis: Well-worn Proof 1837 quarter eagle, recent discovery, brings $7,800

A Proof coin can still be a Proof piece, even when it has lost its reflective fields and frosty devices. This 1837 Classic Head gold $2.50 quarter eagle offered in Rosemont  Aug. 13 is one of only five confirmed examples. 

NGC graded it Good Details, Mount Removed. Remnants of the mount are visible at the top of the obverse, and the cataloger writes, “Obviously a former jewelry piece, both sides of this piece are curiously glossy in texture with numerous handling marks peppering the surfaces.” 

John McCloskey’s study of the series shows that the subject coin’s specific die marriage (McCloskey 3) was produced as a Proof strike. Diagnostics, including two pale gules in the stripes of the shield on the reverse, as opposed to three as seen on circulation strike quarter eagles of this date, remain visible despite significant wear. 

Its exact mintage is uncertain since Proof coins weren’t sold in an organized way directly to general collectors until 1859, and this coin was only recently discovered and confirmed by Stack’s Bowers prior to the coin’s consignment to the firm's auctions at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money.

The rare Proof quarter eagle realized $7,800. 

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