US Coins

Acquiring a Mint state 1860-S quarter is no easy task

Heritage’s Oct. 3 to 5 U.S. coins auction in Dallas realized just over $8.5 million, with the top lot being a 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar graded Very Fine 25 by Professional Coin Grading Service that found a new home at $146,875.

Multiple quarter dollars were included among the top lots, representing a broad diversity of types and illustrating the depth of the current market to be able to absorb so many coins offered at auction over the course of the last year.

Here is one of three notable quarters we're profiling in this week's Market Analysis. 

The Lot:

1860-S Seated Liberty quarter dollar, MS-61, CAC

The Price:


The Story:

The 1860-S Seated Liberty quarter dollar comes from a low mintage of 56,000 pieces, although the actual survival numbers of coins that remain available for collectors today is much lower.

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There was substantial demand for these quarters in circulation, so few high-grade examples survive today, and as Heritage points out, no Mint State examples are known for some San Francisco Mint issues of this era. These also came before the popularization of Mint mark collecting among U.S. collectors, so few examples were saved by contemporary numismatists.

Seated Liberty quarter dollar history

Seated Liberty quarter dollar: Just because the Seated Liberty coinage design bears the distinction of being the longest-running design for any U.S. silver coin doesn't mean that the quarter dollar series didn't produce a few interesting twists. How much are Seated Liberty quarter dollars worth?

Heritage’s auction included the only 1860-S Seated Liberty quarter dollar certified in Mint State, graded PCGS MS-61 and with a CAC sticker. It’s been presented at auction three times in the past three years, realizing $55,812.50 at Heritage’s October 2014 Gardner sale, then being offered at Heritage’s 2015 and 2016 Central States Numismatic Society auctions, where it failed to sell both times. This time around it sold for $45,825.

Keep reading this analysis of recently sold notable quarters:

1926-D Standing Liberty Full Head quarter   An important detail makes this 1926-D Standing Liberty quarter dollar among finest known: The 1926-D issues are known for being poorly struck, so whenever one like this crosses the block, you can expect a high price to be paid.
1932-D Washington quarter   Toning, key date, high grade: Recently sold Washington quarter checks all the boxes: Demand is high for gem and near-gem examples of this issue. This example had original toning, with Heritage noting, “Speckled russet-red and sea-green patina is present on both sides, and there are no distracting abrasions on either side.”

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