Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 75

September Pre Long Beach

$2.50 Gold
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 2122
1836. Script 8. PCGS graded MS-64. CAC Approved. A stunning satin mint gem exhibiting vibrant golden mint luster. The Classic Head quarter eagles of 1834 through 1839 are interesting and popular to collect by date and mint, there being no "museum" rarities. However, finding pieces in choice Mint condition is another thing entirely, and a challenge to say the least. When such an opportunity arrives, a specimen is likely to be dated 1834, the first year of issue. While the 1836, as here, registered a higher production total, the design was no longer a novelty, and few were set aside as souvenirs.

The obverse and reverse are deeply lustrous, warm yellow golden color. The striking is quite sharp around the borders, marginally less so at the centers, this being typical. A few toning areas are seen here and there on the reverse. All told this is one of the choicer 1836 quarter eagles to come on the market at the present time. It will answer well a call from the specialist, the Script 8 in the date adding appeal. Similarly, it would make a distinguished addition to any choice type set. Pop 13; 2 finer in 65. (PCGS # 7694) Estimated Value $12,000-UP
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots
Lot 2123
1839-O. NGC graded MS-65. Well struck and glowiwng with golden frosty mint luster. Pop 1; the finest graded at either service. High Date, Wide Fraction, Breen-6152, McCloskey-A, R.3. The years 1838 and 1839 provided innovations galore US numismatics. 1838 saw the opening of this nation's first branch mints in New Orleans, Louisiana, Dahlonega, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina, reflecting the advancing front of the American migration south and to the west that continues to this day. Gold and silver coinage featured several new and distinctive types, with William Kneasss Classic Head gold design fading rapidly to be replaced by the long-lived Liberty Head motif. Silver coinage saw the introduction of Liberty Seated coinage after preliminary steps were taken in 1836 and 1837, which would run into the 1890s. The first gold eagles since their suspension in 1804 were coined in 1838, displaying the familiar Christian Gobrecht-inspired Liberty Head that would spread to the other gold denominations and last even longer than Gobrechts Seated coins.

The Obverse Mintmark style for gold and silver coinage in 1838 and 1839 was also new. However, Mint officials moved all mintmarks in 1840 to the reverse, trend that would reverse in 1909 when the Lincoln cent was introduced and repeated in 1916-17 with the Standing Liberty Quarter and Walking Liberty Half Dollar.

The present spectacular 1839-O Classic Head Quarter Eagle displays breathtaking, thick, frosty luster that justly juts the coin an Empire State Buildings height above the typical O-mint quarter eagle of this vintage. The surfaces are vivid golden yellow, verging on pristine quality throughout portions of the obverse and reverse. Die lapping makes the obverse hair below the Y of LIBERTY and above the 9 in the date appear broken, the strike is nevertheless extremely well executed. All star centers full with only a faint loss detail on the 13th star. On the reverse, which is better struck on these as a rule, there is outstanding crispness virtually everywhere save for the left portion of the lower shield lines (as typical for the date). Best of all, there are pretty much no disturbing marks of any kind. The luster is intact. The luster is beautiful. The color out of this world. It is, of course, the original luster and surfaces that are this wonder coin's foremost contribution to its one-of-a-kind Mint State 65 grade!

The 1839-O was unknown in Gem Mint State until recent time, although there are a few survivors classified MS64, including several we have offered in sales in the early 2000s. A heart-stopping opportunity for the gold coin or rarity specialist! (PCGS # 7701)
Note: In order to encourage gold coins to circulate at par -- which had not been the case since 1815 -- Congress reduced the authorized weight of the various denominations through the Act of June 28, 1834. On August 2, 1834, the new standard went into effect. For the quarter eagle the weight was reduced from 67 grains to 64 grains. A seemingly minor change but with notable ramifications.

To differentiate the new coins from the old, the design was changed. Chief Engraver William Kneass created what is called the Classic Head today. The head of Liberty faces left, her hair bound by a ribbon inscribed LIBERTY, stars circle her head, and with the date below.

The reverse depicts an eagle with a shield on its breast, perched on an olive branch and holding three arrows. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and 2 1/2 D. surrounds. The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, used on quarter eagles since 1796, was omitted. The diameter remained 18.2mm.

Mintage quantities were large in the first several years of the coinage span, with the high-water mark being 1836, when 547,986 were struck. In 1838, quarter eagles were struck at Charlotte for the first time, followed the next year by supplementary coinage at Charlotte, Dahlonega, and New Orleans. By far, the greatest number of 1834-1839 Classic Head quarter eagles were issued at Philadelphia.

Examples of the Classic Head can be obtained readily in grades from Fine through Extremely Fine. AU pieces are scarce, and Uncirculated pieces are scarcer yet. Superb Uncirculated coins are very rare. Uncirculated pieces of the first year of issue, 1834, often display prooflike surfaces.

The lowest mintage of the type was registered by the first mintmark issue, the 1838-C, of which only 7,880 were struck. Today, this variety is very scarce in any grade and very rare at the AU level. The mintmarked issues of the next year, 1839-C, 1839-D, and 1839-O, are all scarce, with the typically encountered grade being VF or, occasionally, EF. Any coin in Mint State 60 or finer grade is a rarity. At the time, the numismatic community -- consisting of no more than a couple hundred widely scattered enthusiasts -- took no note of mintmarks, and not even the Mint Cabinet contained specimens. Estimated Value $40,000 - 50,000
View details and enlarged photos
Check results on similar lots

Home | Current Sale | Calendar of Events | Bidding | Consign | About Us | Contact | Archives | Log In

US Coins & Currency | World & Ancient Coins | Manuscripts & Collectibles | Bonded CA Auctioneers No. 3S9543300
11400 W. Olympic Blvd, Suite 800, Los Angeles CA 90064 | 310. 551.2646 ph | 310.551.2626 fx | 800.978.2646 toll free

© 2011 Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, All Rights Reserved