By James McCartney – Senior Numismatist, Stack’s Bowers ……
The Proof 1870 quarter eagle is a tremendous rarity in all grades and only an estimated 10 to 12 survivors are known from a mintage of just 35 examples. Researcher John Dannreuther notes that the first delivery of 25 coins occurred on February 3, while the remaining 10 coins were delivered on June 1. The obverse die was used to strike both the 35 Proofs and the 4,520 circulation-strikes for the year, and very few coins exhibit strong cameo contrast. In addition, most examples are found in grades of Proof-65 and below due to cabinet friction and other imperfections.
Stack’s Bowers is delighted to showcase an incredible Proof-66 DCAM (PCGS) in our March 2021 Las Vegas Auction. It is an absolutely amazing example of this Reconstruction-era rarity. It features vibrant golden-wheat surfaces with hints of warmer patina at the rims. Richly frosted, pristine luster blankets the design elements and contrasts intensely with the deeply mirrored fields. The strike is incredibly sharp and the surfaces are virtually free of any handling. A few scattered lint marks in the fields are virtually diagnostic to Proofs of this era. This piece ranks as the sole finest certified by PCGS in any Cameo designation, making it a treasure for advanced Registry Set participants. Similarly, no examples have been certified finer at NGC in any designation. It is a visually stunning jewel that matches superior preservation with significant rarity.
Proof quarter eagle mintages began to swell in the late 1880s and ’90s, and these are the dates typically included in type sets by today’s collector. In contrast, Proof 1870 quarter eagles are remarkably elusive and “almost never appear in auction or on the floors of major conventions.” as explained by Dannreuther. The present offering is a historic opportunity and sure to attract significant attention from specialists.
This incredible Proof-66 Deep Cameo (PCGS) 1870 quarter eagle will be featured in our March 2021 Las Vegas Auction, accompanied by many important coins including Small Eagle Draped Bust half dollars from the E. Horatio Morgan Collection, spectacular Peace dollars from the Pittstown Collection, and New Orleans Mint rarities from the Collection of Steve Studer. The sale will be available for viewing and bidding on our website www.StacksBowers.com and printed catalogs will also be available for purchase.
If you would like to consign to an upcoming sale or have questions about the consignment process, please contact us today at Consign@StacksBowers.com or 800-566-2580.