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

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

1852-D Liberty Head Quarter Eagle. Image: Heritage Auctions / CoinWeek.
1852-D Liberty Head Quarter Eagle. Image: Heritage Auctions / CoinWeek.

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes …..

The Dahlonega Mint struck 4,078 Liberty Head Quarter Eagles in 1852. The issue is rare in Mint State and often compared to the 1841-D and 1842-D quarter eagles in terms of overall scarcity. Gold coin specialist and CoinWeek content partner Doug Winter reports that one die marriage (Winter 15-M) was used to strike the issue; the Philadelphia Mint prepared three die pairs for the issue. The reverse die was carried over from 1847.

In David Akers’ United States Gold Coins, An Analysis of Auction Records, Volume I (1975), the late gold coin expert estimated a surviving population of 35 pieces. The population reports at NGC suggest that the actual number is likely just over 100 pieces.

NGC reports three grading events in Mint State. Two of them–the “Dukes Creek” coin and “The Baltimore Collection” specimen–have appeared at auction and are accounted for in our list. PCGS CoinFacts reports 11 grading events in Mint State. Eight of these have appeared at public auction since 1994.

Weakly struck denticles are typical for the issue, but the central devices tend to be sharp, a quality not always apparent on gold coins struck at Dahlonega. Gem Mint State examples are presently unknown, but the Dukes Creek 1852-D quarter eagle comes close.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

Top Population: PCGS MS64 (1, 6/2024), NGC MS64 (1, 6/2024), and CAC MS63 (1:0 stickered:graded, 6/2024).

  • NGC MS64 #302712-019: Superior, May 1990, Lot 5429 – $27,500; Leon Farmer; Hancock & Harwell; “The Duke’s Creek Collection of Daholonega Gold”, Heritage Auctions, April 7, 2006, Lot 1509 – $57,500. DUKES CREEK on insert. 
  • PCGS MS63 #16585473: As PCGS MS62 #21560959. “The Harold W. Anderson Collection, Part Two”, Heritage Auctions, August 20, 2004, Lot 7146 – $28,175; As NGC MS63 #548917-009. Heritage Auctions, December 2004, Lot 6051 – ; Heritage Auctions, March 25, 2005, Lot 6865 – $34,500. As PCGS MS63. Stack’s Bowers, March 4, 2010, Lot 3617 – $33,000 Reserve Not Met. Planchet lamination above eagle’s neck. PCGS plate coin.
  • PCGS MS62 #11197995: Goldberg Auctioneers, May 31, 2006, Lot 3697 – $28,750; Golberg Auctioneers, January 26, 2014, Lot 1703 – $25,850; Purchased by Del Loy Hansen.
  • PCGS MS62 #08703088: “The Della Collection”, Heritage Auctions, September 15, 2006, Lot 3168 – $25,300; Stack’s Bowers, May 9, 2013, lot 1265 – $19,000 Reserve Not Met.
  • NGC MS62 CAC #371873-002: Heritage Auctions, March 29, 2009, Lot 2625 – $20,700; “The Baltimore Collection, Part Two”, Heritage Auctions, October 14, 2011, Lot 4682 – $29,900.
  • PCGS MS62 #21026478: Stack’s, January 1993, Lot 1650; Private collection, Purchased by private collector from Doug Winter and Lee Minshull, July 1999; Heritage Auctions, January 7, 2004, Lot 1030 – $25,875. Green Pond on insert. Certification number no longer active. 
  • PCGS MS62 #5549756: Heritage Auctions, August 13, 1999, Lot 7653 – $18,400; Chestatee Collection in insert.  Heritage Auctions, January 11, 2003, Lot 4696 – $20,700. Re-encapsulated. Ashland City on insert. Lamination above the second T in STATES. 
  • PCGS MS61 #41954938: GreatCollections, June 12, 2022, Lot 1164912 – $24,187.50.
  • PCGS MS61 #03763346: Heritage Auctions, June 1, 2007, Lot 2173 – $18,400; Heritage Auctions, August 9, 2007, Lot 1835, $25,300. Die line through third star.
  • PCGS MS61: Stack’s, October 1994 – $15,400; Heritage Auctions, January 8, 1999, Lot 7651 – $28,750.

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1852-D Liberty Head Quarter Eagle Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year of Issue: 1852
Denomination: Two Dollars and Fifty Cents (USD)
Mintmark: D (Dahlonega)
Mintage: 4,078
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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Charles Morgan
Charles Morgan
Charles Morgan is an award-winning numismatic author and the editor and publisher of CoinWeek.com. Along with co-author Hubert Walker, he has written for CoinWeek since 2012, as well as the "Market Whimsy" column for The Numismatist and the book 100 Greatest Modern World Coins (2020) for Whitman Publishing. From 2021-2023, Charles served as Governor of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), where he was bestowed the Glenn Smedley Award. Charles is a member of numerous numismatic organizations, including the American Numismatic Society (ANS) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG).

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