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Rainbow Gem 1958-D Quarter at Stack’s Bowers Rarities Night Auction

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By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
We’ve written about toned Washington quarters before. Over two years ago, we recognized a beautiful 1951-D PCGS MS67+ that Legend Rare Coin Auctions was offering in their Regency XIII sale. Reaching even further back than our initial review of the coin, we compiled a brief auction history that analyzed the ups and downs of prices realized in relation to changing certified population reports. In the end, the Regency XIII 1951-D Washington quarter sold for $7,343.75 USD with buyer’s premium – an almost nine percent increase over 2014’s price of $6,756 (incl. BP).

At the time we were concerned that, as more coins were graded at that level or higher, the price for this kind of condition rarity with exceptional eye appeal would continue to drop. So far, so good.

Therefore, as we prepare for the Stack’s Bowers Rarities Night Auction in Baltimore on November 3, we thought we would apply a similar analysis on yet another gorgeous toner Washington.

Lot 2081: 1958-D Quarter

The coin in question is lot 2081 of the official Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo auction. This specimen is a bright rainbow toner with prominent pink and blue rings along the rim of the obverse and a strong orange-red on the reverse. Produced near the end of the silver era of U.S. coinage, this issue can be challenging to find in such good condition. Certified by PCGS, it is part of a population of two with none finer.

Based on the style of the hologram sticker on the back of the holder, we believe this example to be the first PCGS MS68 to be made. A TrueView image of the coin is posted on PCGS.com – though interestingly the image is from when the coin was graded MS67+ (PCGS 25204793).

Similar Specimens

For a history of similar examples of toned MS68 1958-D quarters, we turned to the archives of Heritage Auctions.

In the summer of 2008, a pale golden yellow toner graded MS68* by NGC and approved by CAC sold for $2,990.

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Darkly toned Washington quarter offered in March 2010.

About two years later, Heritage sold a dark rainbow toner certified by NGC in March 2010 for $3,737.50.

In April 2015, Heritage sold the second 1958-D quarter graded PCGS MS68 for $9,987.50. That coin, like the presently offered coin, contained a significant degree of attractive rainbow toning.

And earlier this year, another NGC MS68* sold, this time for $2,760. Admittedly, the dark toning pales to the vividly toned quarter mentioned above and the Stack’s Bowers specimen currently on offer.

As far as 1958-D Washington quarter toners in MS67+ go, in January 2013, Heritage offered a lightly toned, PCGS MS67+, CAC-approved, not quite as nice but still PQ specimen for $4,700.

Later that year in August, another PCGS MS67+ toner was sold for $3,525.00.

The current bid of the 1958-D quarter in the Stack’s Bowers sale is $900 (+ buyers premium) at press time. Interested parties can register at www.stacksbowers.com and bid online. Live Bidding begins Nov 3, 2016 @ 6:00 PM EDT.

Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker
Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker
Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker have been contributing authors on CoinWeek since 2012. They also wrote the monthly "Market Whimsy" column and various feature articles for The Numismatist and the book 100 Greatest Modern World Coins (2020) for Whitman Publishing.

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