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The 1867 Quarter Eagle

By Doug WinterRareGoldCoins.com ……
 

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As I researched the individual coins in the Star City Collection of Liberty Head quarter eagles, I was very interested to note that there were just four coins in the collection that weren’t approved by CAC. These were the 1844, the 1866, the 1867, and the 1870.

1867 $2.50 PCGS AU58, FROM THE STAR CITY COLLECTION
1867 $2.50 PCGS AU58, FROM THE STAR CITY COLLECTION

None of these four dates is especially well-understood by collectors and I thought it would be interesting to discuss each of them in some detail. Let’s begin with the 1867.

The 1867 Liberty Head Quarter Eagle

There were 3,200 examples made for circulation. This is comparable to the 1868 (3,600), the 1869 (4,320), and the 1872 (3,000), but the 1867 is much scarcer. There are an estimated 55 to 65 business strike 1867 quarter eagles extant, with most in the AU53 to AU58 range. The 1867 is almost never seen in grades lower than AU50, which strongly suggests that it didn’t see much circulation. Many are semi-prooflike and nearly every 1867 quarter eagle I’ve seen is extremely abraded with heavy marks seen in the fields. The natural color is rose-gold and orange-gold but only a small number exist that have not been processed. Surprisingly, there are a few nice examples known – including four or five in Uncirculated.

1867 $2.50 PCGS MS61, FROM THE DWN ARCHIVES
1867 $2.50 PCGS MS61, FROM THE DWN ARCHIVES

A Condition Census listing for this date is as follows:

PCGS MS65: Kansas Collection via Douglas Winter Numismatics, ex Heritage 1999 FUN: 7959 ($24,150).

PCGS MS64+ CAC: DL Hansen Collection, ex Heritage 4/2017: 4210 ($25,850; as PCGS MS64); Bowers and Merena 9/1994: 1342 ($11,500). This coin may also have been graded MS64 by NGC.

PCGS MS63: North Carolina Collection, likely ex Bowers and Merena 8/2010: 1549 ($13,800); Horseshoe Collection, Bowers and Merena 10/1999: 553 ($8,050); Harry Bass Collection. One other coin has been graded MS63 by PCGS.

PCGS MS61 CAC: Unseen by me.

As of 6/2023, PCGS had graded another eight coins in Uncirculated (two in MS60 and six in MS61) but I don’t regard any of these (with the exception of the CAC-approved MS61) as truly Uncirculated coins.

It is interesting to note that CAC has approved just six business strike examples of this date in all grades. Despite this fact, the 1867 has a PCGS Price Guide value of $1,750 in EF45. If a nice PCGS/CAC EF45 1867 quarter eagle were to come available, I expect it would bring at least three times this estimated price.
 

Doug Winter Numismatics, specialists in U.S. gold coins

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Doug Winter
Doug Winterhttps://www.raregoldcoins.com
Doug Winter founded Douglas Winter Numismatics (DWN) in 1985. The nationally renowned firm specializes in buying and selling rare United States gold coins. He has written over a dozen books, including the standard references on Charlotte, Dahlonega, and New Orleans gold coinage, and Type 1 Liberty Head Double Eagles. Douglas has also contributed to the A Guidebook of United States Coins, Walter Breen’s Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Coins, Q. David Bowers’ Encyclopedia of United States Silver Dollars, and Andrew Pollock’s United States Pattern and Related Issues. He is a member of the PNG, the ANA, the ANS, the NLG, CAC, PCGS, and NGC - among other professional affiliations. Contact Doug Winter at [email protected].

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