Traditionally, all 1827 quarters are described as being struck in Proof format, although no 1827 quarter looks like a “Proof” in today’s parlance. Perhaps “prooflike” is a better indication of the format, because many originals and restrikes are indeed reflective throughout the fields. They lack the overall sharpness and deep mirroring of true Proofs.
Nine “original Proofs” are confirmed, however, thought to be struck in 1827. Two experimental 1827 quarters were overstruck on Draped Bust quarters, likely to test the United States Mint’s close collar equipment. Decades later, nine known restrikes were struck and accorded the Proof designation. These were apparently struck in two groups, with two coins produced earlier than the other seven. Late restrikes display a lozenge-shaped indent on Liberty’s neck near the lowest neck curl. Additionally, five restrikes were struck in copper.
Together, these pedigreed coins comprise the entire known population for the issue (25 coins including those struck in copper), making the 1827 an ultimate rarity among all U.S. quarters.
All 1827 quarters share the same obverse die. The coins were struck from an unused 1823/2 die, then overdated, with the 1 struck over a pointed-serif 1, a Script 8 over a Block 8, and a small, highly placed 7 over 3/2. The heavily rusted restrike reverse employs a leftover die from 1819 (B-2), with a square-based 2 in the denomination. Original 1827 strikes (B-1) employ a different reverse, with a curl-based 2. The Mint reports 4,000 quarters struck in 1827, but that delivery was made at the end of the year, and it is thought to include only 1828-dated quarters.
Offered by Heritage Auctions in the July 14-17 Long Beach/Summer FUN Signature Auction, Lot 3079 is one of the two silver restrikes lacking the oblong indent on Liberty’s neck. The copper restrikes also lack this indent. These restrikes were struck prior to the balance of the restrikes, which were struck circa 1876 or thereabouts.
Reflective fields surround sharply struck central motifs, although the stars are rounded and mostly lack definition. The reverse die is heavily rusted, with the obverse showing just light rust between the date and star 13. Eye appeal is strong, with subtle iridescence including attractive shades of blue, lilac, gold, and silver-gray that shimmer with soft mint luster, commensurate with PCGS’ assigned grade of PR63.