Ultra Gem 1821 Quarter Eagle, Ex Parmelee, Eliasberg, Finest Graded by PCGS

A Great Coin with a Great Pedigree

Standing all by itself as the finest Bass Dannreuther-1 1821 quarter eagle, this coin is one of the greatest early $2.50 coins in existence. Beyond that its pedigree or provenance is outstanding. It will cross the block in the D. Brent Pogue Collection Part II sale we will be holding with Sotheby’s in New York City on September 30th. You are cordially invited to be a bidder or an observer. Our deluxe catalog is now in preparation.

In our sale of the Louis E. Eliasberg United States Gold Coin Collection in 1982 we said of this coin: “1821, Gem Proof-67. A few light toning areas. Probably by far the finest known specimen of this issue.” This appreciation was seconded by David W. Akers in a later commentary.

The 1821, the first quarter eagle coinage since 1808, is of a new Capped Bust style, Type IV in the series, mirroring that used on half eagles of the era. The mintage was 6,448. We estimate that eight to 12 Mint State coins exist today, most in lower grades within this category and not in the class of the D. Brent Pogue Collection coin showcased here. We suggest that 60 to 75 exist in VF, EF (in particular), and AU grades. Certification data and publicity would seem to indicate that the 1821 is about as available in Mint State as it is in circulated grades. However, a perusal of a long run of auction appearances demonstrates that Mint State coins are the exception, not the general rule.

The mintage figure suggests that this should be the most plentiful of all Type IV quarter eagles, but reality is different. The 1821 is quite rare, and the lower-mintage 1824/1 and 1825 are more often seen.

Only one die pair was used this year, although a second obverse die was made but kept on the shelf (to be overdated 1824/1 later and used in 1824). The 1821 reverse die was also used in 1824 and again in 1825. Circulation strikes as well as Proofs were made from the die pair.

Provenance: From New York Coin & Stamp Co.’s sale of the Lorin G. Parmelee Collection, June 1890; S.H. & H. Chapman’s sale of the John G. Mills Collection, April 1904; John H. Clapp; Louis E. Eliasberg; our sale of the Louis E. Eliasberg United States Gold Coin Collection, October 1982, lot 90; Jimmy Hayes; our session of Auction ’84, July 1984, lot 1373.

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