Heritage Auctions – Seldom Seen Selections: Unsurpassed 1853-D Quarter Eagle

Scarce in all grades, the 1853 Dahlonega quarter eagle is rare in Mint State and unknown any finer than the MS62 level, assigned by NGC to a coin that we will be offering in our October 15-18 Dallas Signature auction. The latest Doug Winter reference pegs the number of surviving pieces in all grades at 85 to 105 coins — a figure echoed by PCGS CoinFacts, which suggests that under 100 pieces are known. Just 3,179 pieces were struck, and the major grading services have assigned grades to 115 coins, a number which doubtlessly includes resubmissions.

Heritage has sold MS62 examples of the 1853-D a mere three times — the last time in the January 2014 FUN auction, along with two examples in 2006.

This brassy-gold coin shows a minimum of marks for the grade, with a thin line of mint grease that passes through the right side of star 7 to Liberty’s hair. Some flecks of deep-gray build-up surround the stars, while soft mint luster glows from both sides. The obverse strike is unusually sharp at the stars, with the normal soft definition on the eagle’s legs and talons as well as the curls below LIBER as is always the case for the 1853-D. Neither NGC nor PCGS report a finer submission.

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In Other News – Changes to Bidding

Heritage Auctions has announced a change to its bidding practices that will allow more bidders to pursue items in online auctions.

Effective immediately, the increments in which collectors can bid in Internet absentee bidding will be cut in half. The change will not affect live bidding (including HA.com/Live), in order to save live bidders time by keeping the bidding in live sessions moving at a brisk pace.

“This change will benefit both buyers and sellers,” Heritage Auctions Co-Founder Jim Halperin said. “Cutting in half the size of bid increments will increase the confidence and aggressiveness of buyers who are unsure about increasing a bid, and it benefits the sellers by making more clients more likely to leave a proxy bid on a wider array of available lots.”

The change is significant for Heritage Auctions, as approximately 60% of Heritage Auctions’ 2018 sales were conducted online. With more than 40 categories of art, jewelry, collectibles, and other valuable objects, Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s leading collectibles auctioneer.
 

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