Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 53

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Lot 1198

1848 $2.50 Liberty. CAL above eagle. NGC graded AU-55. Mostly untoned with semi reflective surfaces. When California's gold discovery became known to Easterners, the news set off the most famous human stampede ever. Late in 1848, an initial shipment of 228 ounces of bullion made its way via military channels (including Secretary of War William Marcy) to the Philadelphia Mint. Marcy instructed Mint Director Robert Patterson to have the gold coined into specially marked Quarter Eagles. In response, Patterson had struck some 1,389 pieces in December of that year, each with counterstamped CAL. above the eagle on reverse. (The counterstamping was done in a separate step while the coin rested in the die, so as to avoid creating a flattened spot on the opposite side.)

The 1848 CAL. quarter eagle has long held a place of honor in the hearts of 19th century gold specialists. It is historically significant as an issue struck from discretely identifiable bullion from the California Gold Rush. It is also a scarce coin, although perhaps not quite so rare as some early numismatists have proclaimed. This is a light-colored example with yellow to slightly green-gold tendencies. The surfaces are a smooth in texture. One or two scattered distractions include a few moderate abrasions on the neck, a faint hairline from the rim through the 4th star, across Liberty's brow to the curl above her ear, plus a pair of small rim bruises at stars 8 and 10. Both sides are lightly worn, as suits the grade, with appreciable boldness on all devices including for the hair around Liberty's brow on the obverse. The eagle's neck and the shield edge on the reverse are a shade softly impressed. The all-important CAL. inscription is deep and readily appreciable in the upper reverse field. It is an occasion of all-consuming pride for us when we can offer a certified representative of this important Liberty quarter eagle for bidder consideration. Pop 6; 32 finer. In a new NGC 4 pronged holder (PCGS # 7749) .
Estimated Value $40,000 - 45,000.
The Mark Gordon Collection.

Realized $42,550

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