US Coins

Skilled repair on 1873-CC Seated Liberty quarter

A hole at the top of the obverse was skillfully repaired and this 1873-CC Arrows Seated Liberty quarter dollar graded PCGS Genuine, AU Details, Plugged, brought $13,200 at Heritage’s February Long Beach auction.

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Major grading services use Details grading to encapsulate coins that have been cleaned, are holed, have severe scratches or other issues that prevent them from being assigned a grade from 1 to 70. For coins with such problems, details grading assigns an adjectival grade based on the amount of wear as a result of circulation, and the surface problem is noted on the certification label.

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Numismatic Guaranty Corp. defines a holed coin as “a coin that has had a hole punched in it post-minting,” and uses the term “plugged” for “ones that were previously holed, typically for suspension as jewelry, and have had their holes filled in to conceal the damage. As the affected area usually includes design features, these will show evidence of re-engraving.”

Here is one skillfully plugged coin that traded at a recent auction:


The Lot:

1873-CC Seated Liberty, Arrows quarter dollar, PCGS Genuine, AU Details, Plugged

The Price:


The Story:

Some coin restorers are so skilled that their work is hardly noticeable. The repair on Liberty’s head on this 1873-CC Seated Liberty, With Arrows quarter dollar graded Professional Coin Grading Service Genuine, About Uncirculated Details, Plugged, is virtually undetectable. Carson City Mint coins are in near constant demand and just 12,462 1873-CC quarters of the subtype bearing arrows on either side of the date were struck from a single pair of dies in 1873, with perhaps 50 surviving today. The arrows alerted the public to a new weight standard for the denomination.

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The carefully repaired quarter dollar sold for $13,200 at Heritage’s February 2018 Long Beach auctions. Heritage observed, “The surfaces are blanketed in shades of greenish-gold and magenta toning and the overall presentation is quite attractive,” and in terms of detail, the piece is it among the finest known. For comparison, a PCGS Extremely 45 example sold for $18,800 at Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ August 2015 ANA auction in metropolitan Chicago, and a PCGS AU-55 example brought $79,312.50 at Legend’s Dec. 14, 2017, Regency Auction.

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