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All Posts Tagged With: "Key dates"

US Gold Coin Profiles: Revisiting The 1841 Quarter Eagle

ByDoug Winter – www.RareGoldCoins.com

A few years ago, I wrote a blog about 1841 quarter eagles that basically stated that the currently-accepted belief that all of the known examples were Proofs was wrong. After recently being able to examine no less than four 1841 quarter eagles at one time, I am now totally convinced that this issue exists in two distinct formats.

Numismatic tradition states that the 1841 quarter eagle was struck only as a Proof. This has never made sense to me. With as many as 15-17 pieces known, why would the Mint have made so many Proofs in 1841 when virtually none were struck in any other year between 1842 and 1853? And why would most of the survivors be in such low grades (EF40 to AU50) when most of the Proof gold coins from the 1840’s that still exist tend to be in reasonably high grades?

This enigma has become a semi-obsession of David Hall’s and when you are the head of Collector’s Universe/PCGS you can get things done. David was able to wrangle four different examples of the 1841 quarter eagle including a PR60 illustrated below. A few weeks ago, one of his security detail flew the four coins up to my office in Portland and I am now more convinced than ever that 1841 quarter eagles exist in two formats.

First, a few words about the Proofs. One of the main reasons that you can determine that a Proof 1841 quarter eagle actually is a Proof is that is “looks like one.” These coins are not weakly struck, nor is there any question about whether they have squared edges or incomplete reflectiveness to the fields. These coins look just like other Proof gold coins from the 1840’s. They may have some mint-made flaws such as pits in the planchet or lintmarks but their appearance is not much different than Proofs from the latter part of the 19th century either.

There appear to be just three or four Proofs known. The finest is a PCGS PR64 owned by a prominent Texas collector that is ex Heritage 6/04: 6204 where it brought $253,000; it was earlier in the Eliasberg sale and it sold for $82,500 in October 1982. The second Proof is owned by a customer of mine and it is graded PR60 by PCGS. I purchased it out of Bass II in October 1999 and paid $110,000 for it. A third Proof is in the Smithsonian. I have not seen the coin in person but it has been confirmed by Jeff Garrett whose opinion I respect. A possible fourth Proof is the ex Davis-Graves coin that was last sold as Superior 2/91: 2664 at $66,000. This coin might be the piece that appears in the PCGS population report as a PR62.

When I recently examined the Eliasberg and Bass Proofs, I made the following observations about them. I’m certain they apply to the other one or two Proofs as well.

*Proof 1841 quarter eagles have fully reflective fields that look like Proofs should. They are not “semi-prooflike” or “mostly prooflike.” They are Proofs, no ifs and or buts.

*On Proof 1841 quarter eagles, there is sharpness of strike on the curls below the ear of Liberty. This sharpness does not appear on business strikes. (more…)

Brahin Collection of Key Date Saint Gaudens $20 Gold Coins to be sold on Platinum Night at Fun

The Jay Brahin Collection, a selection of seven key date Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles assembled by a collector with a keen eye for quality will be offered as a part of Heitage’s Platinum Night festivities at 2010 January Orlando, FL FUN US Coin Auction, taking place January 6-10 in Orlando and over the Internet at www.HA.com/Coins.

1920-s_saint_Brahin_funJay Brahin’s name is well known to both the numismatic and investment communities. Although he can trace his first interest in rare coins back to the 1960s, he became a serious numismatist after the Millennium. His rise to the upper echelon of gold collectors was rapid, but it was based on three decades of investment acumen as a personal portfolio manager.

He quickly developed personal relationships with the key players and dealers in American gold, and his list of friends is a Who’s Who of American numismatics. The search for quality was the natural result of old business lessons and this new expert advice, and following old traditions.

Mr. Brahin also gives back to the coin community, currently serving as President of the 20th Century Gold Club. He has also become a sought after resource for books and articles on twentieth century gold coins, and his opinions can be found in the Wall Street Journal as well as CoinLink.

All seven coins in the collection are graded by PCGS, and all seven coins have received CAC stickers signifying that they are among the very best examples of their grade. (more…)