To view more detailed information on the collection click hereDie Variety: This is one of the most famous die varieties of the series and one of the rarest as well. The obverse die was the only one used for coinage of quarter eagles in 1804, with the stars arranged 8 left and 5 right. The first star on the lower left is repunched. A leftover reverse die from 1802 with 13 stars was used, one that actually struck the 1802 BD-2 quarter eagles, then struck the 1802 JR-4 dimes. Both dimes and quarter eagles of 1804 were struck with this reverseDie State: a/d. The obverse has no clashing, lapping, or cracks. The reverse die was clashed and lapped by the time this coin was struck, with the leaves below ICA of AMERICA very shallow and lacking their central definition, this being standard.Estimated mintage for the variety: The total mintage for the calendar year, 3,327 coins, was divided into 1,003 13-stars and 2,324 14-stars coins by Walter Breen (Encyclopedia, 1988, and elsewhere), but this seems far off the mark. Our estimate is that about 10% of the year’s mintage was of this variety. Estimated surviving population: 12 to 15 coins.Strike: The obverse and reverse are sharply impressed, with Liberty's earlobe showing plainly -- a feature that is often softly struck on this design. The reverse is sharp too, with all of the shield elements and scroll well-balanced and well-defined by the die. Residual prooflike reflectivity is noted in the protected portions of the fields.Surfaces: Faint adjustment marks are present on the obverse, notably through and below Liberty's bust, but these were nearly obliterated by the force of the strike and wear. There is a blend of pale teal reflectivity and orange-russet on both the obverse and reverse.When offered in the Pittman Collection, this particular coin had a small "10" scratched in the right obverse field. Sometime after being sold in May 1998, those scratches were repaired with work of extremely high quality. The result is a delightful coin that would serve as a positive addition to any specialized cabinet.Commentary: At this grade level the current example would be well up in the Condition Census and in fact, the technical grade may be even higher. However, PCGS perhaps elected to "net grade" the coin due to its surfaces. Given the incredible importance of this rarity and the desirability of any example, it is obvious why few collectors ever have a chance to obtain an example.Q. David Bowers: This is the great rarity among widely published, obvious varieties in the early quarter eagle series -- these being the Guide Book listings. The number known has been subject to varying opinions over the years. However, with the information explosion of recent years, and with increased attention paid to early die varieties, it seems quite likely that 12 to 15 are known, a higher estimate than would have been made a generation ago. The number of silver dollars known of 1804 is 15, for what this observation may be worth. It is interesting that although the 13-star and 14-star varieties were recognized at the turn of the 20th century, they were not listed in popular catalogs or check lists, and several generations of numismatists came and went without having these varieties on their want lists; one 1804 quarter eagle was sufficient.In the 1970s while finessing my data base of United States gold coins I remarked to Michael G. Brownlee, the Dallas dealer, that I had never had the privilege of including a specimen of the 13-star variety in an auction sale, whereupon he stated that in Dallas there were three examples which he had sold to as many different clients. Mike was a fine friend for many years and was central to the building of several highly important collections, including that of Harry W. Bass, Jr.John W. Dannreuther: This is the most famous early quarter eagle variety. It is many times rarer than the 1796 No Stars and 1808, the single year type coins that are so popular with collectors. Only the excessively rare BD-1 combination for the 1796 surpasses this 13-star 1804 rarity. Anytime the 13-star 1804 quarter eagle appears at auction, it is a highlight!