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Finest 1815 B-1 Quarter Highlights Heritage US Coins Auction

A superb gem 1815 Capped Bust quarter graded MS67 by CAC. Image: Heritage Auctions / CoinWeek.
A superb gem 1815 Capped Bust quarter graded MS67 by CAC. Image: Heritage Auctions / CoinWeek.

Engraver John Reich emigrated to the future United States shortly after the Revolution against Great Brtain. His medal work made an impression on Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, which led to a position at the United States Mint in Philadelphia. It was here that Reich created the Capped Bust that appeared on numerous denominations of federal coinage–from the large cent to the $5 gold half eagle–for decades.

The finest-certified 1815 B-1 Quarter Dollar, CACG MS67, is one of the outstanding highlights of Reich’s work that appear in the December 14-17 US Coins Signature Auction from Heritage. NGC reports one other grading event for this coin at MS67, but that coin has traditionally been judged inferior to this example, pedigreed to famous collector “Colonel” E.H.R. Green. Green was a London-born, New York millionaire by inheritance who knew President William McKinley, brought the first automobile to the state of Texas, and as a stamp collector owned the entire sheet of “Inverted Jennies”.

An 1864-S Liberty Eagle, XF40 NGC is the rarest S-Mint Ten and the second-rarest Liberty Head Ten. It is the only example with a grade of 40, with only four coins reported in higher grades. Early on, the San Francisco Mint focused predominantly on $20 gold double eagle production, which was thought the most effective way to convert enormous amounts of gold bullion into coins. San Francisco produced just 2,500 Liberty eagles in 1864, coins that saw circulation in the West when gold coins rarely circulated in the East. Today, the 1864-S is still an absolute rarity. PCGS CoinFacts gives an estimate of the surviving population at 22 to 26 pieces, in all grades. Both NGC and PCGS together have certified 40 examples, though this number certainly includes resubmissions and crossovers.

An 1853-D Liberty Half Eagle, MS64+ PCGS. CAC, is also featured in the auction. This specific coin is tied with one other MS64+ example at PCGS as the finest certified.

1927-S Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. Image: Heritage Auctions.
1927-S Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. Image: Heritage Auctions.

Another highlight is an amazing example of the popular 1927-S Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. It was believed in the 1940s to be the fourth-rarest Saint-Gaudens $20 gold double eagle, behind the 1924-D, the 1926-S and the 1926-D. But 1927-S double eagles were used in foreign trade, putting them out of reach of the federal recall in 1933. After the end of World War II, coin dealers began to import these $20 Saints from abroad. But only a few 1927-S double eagles were discovered in these foreign banks, and they remain a conditional rarity in MS65 and higher.

Heritage will also sell the only 1855 Gold Dollar that NGC has certified as MS66+. The Type Two design was introduced in 1854, which not only feature an “Indian princess” on the obverse but were also struck on thinner planchets with larger diameters. Unfortunately, this resulted in strike problems that necessitated a second redesign in 1856 and made the Type Two a highly desierd collectible.

For more information on the 1815 B-1 Quarter and all other lots in the sale, click here.

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