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Glorious and Impressive 1831 $2.50 in MS-66 (PCGS)

Two of the scarcest types in the U.S. gold series are the reduced diameter Capped Head quarter and half eagles, 1829-1834. Many of these coins (as well as earlier dates) were worth more as gold than as currency (their melt value being higher than their face value), and thus it was profitable to export the coins, melt them into ingots, and sell the bullion. Your typical survivor is either AU or in the lower Uncirculated grades, often suffering from past abuse such as polishing, cleaning, scratches. Consigned to our Rarities Night Session of the 2013 New York Americana Sale is a very stunning exception, a glorious 1831 quarter eagle, PCGS-graded MS-66 and confirmed by CAC.

Visually impressive, this lovely coin has essentially flawless surfaces, with full, glowing mint bloom on both sides with all devices fully struck up. Because there was only one die pair used to strike quarter eagles in 1831, and it was used to strike both business strikes and Proofs, this coin displays much prooflike flash in the fields. With close inspection, you may pick up on a few minor lines, as well as evidence of die polish. There is also a minor planchet flake noted by Jim Matthews who had the pleasure of cataloging this superb Gem.

This superb coin is one of only a small handful of examples graded MS-66 by PCGS and NGC, with only one coin at PCGS and four at NGC (though I doubt that this number represents individual coins). There are none graded finer at NGC, and only two graded finer at PCGS, an MS-66+ and an MS-67.

Low mintages were the rule for this type, and survival rates as noted, due to the export and melting, are terribly low. Because of these low mintages, the reverse die was employed for five years to strike five different die marriages.

Whether you collect United States gold coins by type or date, or are building a world class type set, or just appreciate superb quality rare coins, take the time to view this stunning Gem 1831 quarter eagle. Catalogs for the Americana Sale are currently in production, and will be in the mail shortly. History will definitely be made in New York this January, and we invite you to participate. Come join us January 22-24 for the annual Americana Sale in New York. Rarities Night, featuring the Cardinal Collection, will be held on the evening of January 24 in a special session held at Le Parker Meridian Hotel. If you are not on our mailing list, contact one of our auction services associates to reserve your copy. Listings will be posted to our website, www.stacksbowers.com shortly.

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