1826/6 (a.k.a. 1826/'5') Capped Head Left Quarter Eagle. BD-1, the only known dies. Die State a/a. AU-58 (NGC).
Rare and Desirable 1826 Quarter Eagle
Tied For Finest Certified
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Die Variety: This is a new obverse die and the only known die pairing of the year. A new larger star punch was employed for the obverse. This variety was long considered an overdate with the 6 punched over a previous 5, but this has been discounted through further study and is now believed to simply be a repunched 6. One very early die state coin is noted by John Dannreuther to clearly show a prior 6 well left of the existing 6. 96 obverse dentils are present, a smaller number than seen on most other dies of this series.
Die State: a/a.
Mintage: 760 coins.
Estimated surviving population: 30 to 35 coins.
Strike: The strike is average with a few of the obverse stars lacking their central radials, but most are fully struck. Liberty's curls are sharp too, along with the dentils. For the reverse strike, the eagle's feathers, shield, and claws are all as expected and the large toothy dentils are each strongly impressed.
Surfaces: Traces of reflectivity exist in the most protected areas and vertical die polish lines are present in the fields of the reverse attesting to the freshness of this die. The reverse die had previously been used sparingly to coin the rare 1825 BD-3 variety before being mated with this new 1826 obverse die.
Commentary: This is not only a difficult variety to find, but also a difficult date to obtain as so few examples have survived. Here is one of the nicer examples of this issue that a numismatist will encounter. There may be as few as 15 to 20 coins that are certified of this date, with much of the balance of known examples showing the usual troubles such as cleaning or damage. Hence, a nearly Mint State coin like this is worthy of the most advanced numismatic cabinet.
Q. David Bowers: This is generally recognized as the most elusive date of the era. That combined with its high grade and excellent eye appeal guarantee a lot of interest as it crosses the block.
PCGS# 7665. NGC ID: 25FH.
Pedigree: From the Dr. James A. Ferrendelli Collection.
NGC Census: 5; none finer.
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