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1844-D $2-1/2 DOLLARS
OR QUARTER EAGLE

PCGS No: 7736

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 17,332
Proofs: 0

Designer: Christian Gobrecht

Diameter: 18 millimeters

Metal content:
Gold - 90%
Other - 10%

Weight: 64.5 grains (4.2 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: "D" (for Dahlonega, GA) below the eagle on the reverse
     

Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.

Notes:
In 1844, the U.S. Branch Mint in the sleepy town of Dahlonega, Georgia produced 17,322 Quarter Eagles ($2.50 gold pieces).  While this is a relatively high mintage for a Quarter Eagle issued at Dahlonega, the 1844-D remains a scarce coin.  Most of the known examples are circulated, although the grades are distributed fairly equally and collectors have several examples to choose from at each grade level.  Uncirculated examples are rare and most of them fall in the MS-61 to MS-62 range.  Though some examples of this date exhibit a strong strike, only one or two examples exist that can truly be called "Choice Uncirculated."

The finest examples graded by PCGS are 2 MS-63's.

Significant examples:
NGC MS-63.  Abe Kosoff's "Melish" sale, April 1956, Lot 1164 - David Akers' "John Jay Pittman" collection, Part II, May 1998, Lot 1748 - private collection.

NGC MS-63.  Bowers and Merena 5/98, Lot 1019.

PCGS MS-62.  Stack's session of "Auction '84", Lot 1312 - Arthur Montgomery collection - Duke's Creek collection of Southern Gold.

NGC MS-62 (illustrated below).  Ex - Superior, March 1978 - Bowers and Merena Galleries sale of the Harry W. Bass, Jr. collection, Part III, May 25-26, 2000, Lot 122, "PCGS MS-61...Winter-5G", sold for $12,075.00 - Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, upgraded to NGC MS-62, offered in September 2000 for $13,500.00 and again at the October 2001 Long Beach Show

NGC MS-61 (illustrated above).  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 671, sold for $7,187.00, where it was described (in part) as follows: "Examination finds minor hairlines, but no other problems or significant contact marks to account for the rather average grade. 17,332 were struck, most of which circulated into lower grades, were lost or remelted into new coinage.  A truly special feature of this coin is the very sharp strike, every detail is full and complete on both the obverse and reverse. As noted specialist Doug Winter stated, only about 15% to 20% of all pieces are sharply struck, when combined with a coin still in mint state, then you have something special indeed. Furthermore, the obverse die shows clash marks from the eagle's wings extending from either side of Liberty's neck, and even sharper clash marks on the reverse from the head of Liberty. At the junction of the right wing of the eagle and his neck, the clash marks are extremely sharp, the sharpest we have seen on any quarter eagle. In the July 2000 NGC Population Report we note 4 graded in this grade, with 7 graded higher.  From the description in the H. W. Bass II sale, lot 367, this coin is possibly the same, or its identical mate (strike, grade and appearance) but we couldn't be certain from the photograph in that sale. Whatever the source, this coin stands alone as one of the most desirable, well struck coins of this date we have cataloged."

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-62.  Chestatee collection - Heritage Numismatic Auction, Inc.'s "Chicago ANA '99" Sale, August 11-13, 1999, Lot 7642, (PCGS #5549747), sold for $11,212.50

PCGS MS-62.  Sotheby's 7/97:188 - Hancock and Harwell inventory.

PCGS MS-62.  North Georgia collection - Heritage 1999 FUN, Lot 7635, sold for $17,250.00

PCGS MS-62.  Stanley Kesselman, February 1, 1972 - Auctions by Bowers & Merena, Inc.'s sale of the Harry W. Bass, Jr. collection, Part II, October 2-4, 1999, Lot 366, sold for $17,250.00

PCGS MS-62.  Ex - Superior Stamp & Coin, February 1975, Lot 1044 - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 150, illustrated, sold for $11,500.00

NGC MS-61.  Ex - Superior Galleries "Pre-Long Beach" Elite Coin Auction, May 25-27, 2003, Lot 3579, sold for $6,900.00

PCGS MS-61.  Joseph Flynn, February 28, 1973 - Auctions by Bowers & Merena, Inc.'s sale of the Harry W. Bass, Jr. collection, Part II, October 2-4, 1999, Lot 367, sold for $10,925.00

NGC AU-58 (illustrated below).  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 672, sold for $4,140.00

PCGS AU-55.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 1202, illustrated, sold for $1,955.00

NGC AU-53.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Rarities Sale", January 3, 2001, Lot 439, illustrated, sold for $1,725.00

AU-50.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 151, illustrated, sold for $1,955.00  From Paramount's sale of November 1971, Lot 997

EF-40.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 5968, not illustrated, sold for $805.00

VF-30.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 5967, not illustrated, sold for $649.75  From the Clyde Godfrey Collection

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"The PCGS Population Report, April 2004" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

Catalog description of Lot 7642 in Heritage Numismatic Auction, Inc.'s "Chicago ANA '99" Sale, August 11-13, 1999

    

Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.

Obverse of 1844-D Liberty Head Quarter Eagle     Reverse of 1844-D Liberty Head Quarter Eagle

Images courtesy of Ron Guth