By James McCartney – Senior Numismatist, Stack’s Bowers ……
Proof 1897 Quarter Eagle
The 1897, along with the 1898 and 1899, is the most consistently well produced and attractive Proof Liberty Head quarter eagle from the 19th century.
Specialist John Dannreuther goes as far as calling this era the “pinnacle of [the] Mint’s gold Proof coinage.” Just a single die pair was used to strike all 136 Proof quarter eagles in 1897, and 70 to 80 examples have survived. We are thrilled to offer a desirable Proof-66 Ultra Cameo (NGC) piece in lot 1183 of our June 2020 Santa Ana Auction.
This piece offers profound Ultra Cameo contrast between the satiny devices and highly reflective fields. The strike is full throughout with razor sharp definition to even the most intricate design elements. Rich orange-gold surfaces display overall smooth Gem preservation. Traces of original patina near the borders adds to the desirability of this exceptional jewel.
Given its high level of workmanship and relative availability, the 1897 is one of the most popular Liberty Head quarter eagles for Proof type purposes. However, specimens at the Gem level are notably elusive, and become even more so when they feature Ultra Cameo contrast. Just 20 coins have been graded finer than this Proof-66 Ultra Cameo by NGC. It is a beautiful specimen, suited for an advanced cabinet of Liberty Head gold or 19th-century Proof type.
This Proof 1897 quarter eagle will be offered as part of the Francesca Collection of United States Gold Coins in our June 2020 Santa Ana Auction, featured alongside Vermont coppers from the Q. David Bowers Collection, the Dazzling Rarities Collection, the Francesca Collection of US Gold Coins, and many other rarities. The sale is currently available for bidding and viewing on our website www.StacksBowers.com or you may contact us to secure a copy of the printed catalog. Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.