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Obverse of Judd 536     Reverse of Obverse of Judd 536


Variety equivalents:
Judd 536

Regular dies

Regular dies without the scroll and motto on the reverse

Rarity - Unique

24.3 millimeters

Metal content:
Silver - 90%
Copper - 10%

Weight: 6.25 grams

Edge: Reeded

Images courtesy of the American Numismatic Association

According to Breen, the 1866 "No Motto" Quarter Dollar is "...a fantasy piece, struck in a set with the the half dollar [Judd 538] and silver dollar [Judd 540], long after authorization to adopt the new design with motto (Act of March 3, 1865...).  This set was made up for the Mint's favorite druggist, Robert Coulton Davis.  

Calling them transitional pieces destroys the meaning of the term; the true transitionals are the 1865 coins with motto as adopted in 1866".

The set was kept intact through the following chain of owners:  H.O. Granberg - William H. Woodin - Waldo Newcomer - F.C.C. Boyd - Wayte Raymond - Col. E.H.R. Green - King Farouk - Sotheby's 1954 "Palace Collection", Lot 1798 - [Breen says "again to Boyd"]  - Edwin M. Hydeman - Abe Kosoff's 1961 NASC Sale, Lot 1107 @ $24,500.00 - Lammot DuPont - Willis Harrington Dupont.

The set was stolen in October, 1967 from the DuPont family mansion in Coconut Grove, Florida in an armed robbery by five masked gunmen.  The coins remained hidden until late 1999, when the Quarter Dollar was purchased over the counter by the Los Angeles Coin Company in "a lot of junk and old electrotype Colonial coins".  Upon subsequent examination, the Quarter Dollar was determined to be the long-lost DuPont coin and it was returned to a family representative on December 10, 1999.  The coin was shipped immediately to the American Numismatic Association's Authentication Bureau, where the coin was authenticated and photographed.  As of this writing (March 12, 2000), the coin remains at the American Numismatic Association, along with the 1866 "No Motto" Half Dollar (which was recovered shortly after the Quarter Dollar in remarkably similar circumstances).

Sources and recommended reading:
"United States Pattern, Experimental and Trial Pieces" by J. Hewitt Judd, M.D.

"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins 1722-1977"

"COIN WORLD", December 27, 1999

"NUMISMATIC NEWS", January 4, 2000