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HomeUS Coins1852-C Liberty Head Quarter Eagle : A Collector's Guide

1852-C Liberty Head Quarter Eagle : A Collector’s Guide

1852-C Liberty Head Quarter Eagle graded NGC MS-61. Image: Stack's Bowers.
1852-C Liberty Head Quarter Eagle graded NGC MS-61. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

The United States Mint branch facility in Charlotte struck 9,772 quarter eagles in 1852 using one pair of dies (Winter die pair 14-I). As is typical for Charlotte, the obverse and reverse of the 1852-C Liberty Head quarter eagle often exhibit partial wire rims. Strike quality will vary, which means that even in uncirculated grades, coin detail will range from poor to average when compared to a Philadelphia Mint coin.

The Charlotte Mint did not produce quarter eagle gold coins in 1853.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens of the 1852-C Liberty Head Quarter Eagle

When gold coin specialist Doug Winter published his book Charlotte Mint Gold Coins, 1838-1861: A Numismatic Study and Analysis in 1987, only one coin was confirmed to exist in Mint State. Today, PCGS reports 10 grading events in Mint State, while NGC reports two. CAC started certifying coins in 2023 and as of February 2024 has not holdered any examples of the 1852-C. The highest reported grades are MS-63 (PCGS) and MS-62 (NGC).

In late 2010, the PCGS population report data indicated four examples at MS-61 with a lone finer MS-63 finer. Today, the population has increased somewhat and our table indicates some upgrading has occurred, but nothing egregious. What likely has happened is a more informed understanding of the rustic quality of the Charlotte and Dahlonega southern gold issues has led the services to reconsider earlier grades on a few “in-between” coins.

Top Population: PCGS MS-63 (1, 5/2023). NGC MS-62 (1, 5/2023). CAC MS-62 (1:0 stickered:graded, 2/2024).

  • NGC MS-62 #1784513-005 CAC: Stack’s, June 1977, Lot 841 ; Stack’s, February 1980, Lot 49; Elrod Collection; Paul Dingler Collection; “The Grand Lake Collection”, Heritage Auctions, February 6, 2009, Lot 2517 – $16,100. ELROD on insert; “The Cherokee County Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 5, 2012 – $18,400. Re-holdered. CAC added. Discoloration to the right of Liberty’s neck between stars 12 and 13. Dark spots frame star 11. Wire rim from about 10 o’clock to about 7 o’clock on the obverse. Eagle strike is average. Spot on eagle’s neck. Dark spot below second S of STATES.
  • PCGS MS-61 #15589828: Heritage Auctions, November 2, 2017 – $15,600. Thin scratch below stars 7 and 8. Scattered toning spots throughout. Eagle is softly struck, but typical.
  • PCGS MS-61: Stack’s Bowers, November 4, 2010, Lot 4852 – $13,225. Deep hit on cheek. Two hits between starts 4 and 5 and a hit between stars 8 and 9. Eagle is flatly struck to the bottom left of the shield, top lines of the federal shield are weakly struck, dark toning in the crevasses of STATES F and A in the legend and also in the Eagle’s right wing.
  • PCGS MS-61 #15731160: As PCGS AU-58 #3132150. “The Carolina Circle Collection”, Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2008, Lot 3092 – $11,500. PCGS Gen 3.0 holder; As NGC MS-60 #3128673-001. Heritage Auctions, February 6, 2009, Lot 2516 – $7,475. As PCGS MS-61 #15731160. Heritage Auctions, October 23, 2009, Lot 1308 – $14,950. Upgraded from AU to MS61. Planchet likely improperly annealed leading to porosity on the Liberty’s face.
  • NGC MS-61: Stack’s Bowers, March 20, 2007, Lot 1464 – $11,500. Hit below chin. Die gouge below the left tip of the base of 2. Scratch below star 7 and another below star 8. Scratch to the right of star 11. Deep hit below eagle’s right wing. Lightly clashed dies. Eagle is above average. Pronounced wire rim on the right side of the obverse.
  • NGC MS-61 #1727322-001: “The Della Collection”, Heritage Auctions, September 15, 2006, Lot 3167 – $13,800; Heritage Auctions, January 23, 2007, Lot 14110 – $13,110. Eagle weakly struck. Small dark streak below star 7.
  • NGC MS-60 #1721044-018: Heritage Auctions, January 5, 2018, Lot 6019 – $6,600. Eagle weakly struck. Thin scratch across the face from nose to hair. Two scratches between stars 7 and 8.
  • NGC MS-60: As PCGS AU-58 #20774654. Heritage Auctions, August 14, 2015, Lot 6043 – $6,462.50; As NGC MS-60. Stack’s Bowers, November 4, 2010, Lot 4853 – $7,864.85. Crossed from PCGS AU-58 to NGC MS-60. Hit behind eye, hit above B on diadem, pronounced wire rim from the top of the obverse to about 7 o’clock. Eagle’s neck, shield, and left side are softly struck. Hit below S in STATES. Diagonal hairlines in the fields most prominent at the bottom of the design.

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Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 1852
Denomination: Two Dollars and Fifty Cents (USD)
Mint Mark: C (Charlotte)
Mintage: 9,772
Alloy: .900 Gold, .100 Copper
Weight: 4.18 g
Diameter: 18.00 mm
Edge Reeded
OBV Designer Christian Gobrecht
REV Designer Christian Gobrecht
Quality: Business Strike


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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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