(WOLFEBORO – AUGUST 1) American Numismatic Rarities of Wolfeboro, NH is proud to announce that a newly-discovered rarity from the founding year of the San Francisco Mint was consigned to the firm at the American Numismatic Association convention recently held in San Francisco. The 1854-S quarter eagle, graded XF-45 by NGC, is believed to be the 10th known survivor from a mintage of just 246 pieces. The coin, whose existence was rumored all over the bourse floor for much of the show, was the most valuable coin to appear at the ANA show and one of the most significant discoveries from the general public in years.
It was offered at an ANR auction event in Beverly Hills on September 18.“What a treat it is to be among the first numismatists to see this long-hidden rarity,” said Frank Van Valen, ANR’s Senior Numismatist. Van Valen negotiated for the coin’s consignment from a Northern California family, descended from Chinese immigrants who arrived in California just after the Gold Rush. The piece had long been a family heirloom, descending in the family since the late 1850s. It was first seen by numismatists when NGC certified the coin at the Santa Clara show immediately before the ANA.
The rarest of all Liberty quarter eagles coined for circulation, the 1854-S quarter eagle is one of only four denominations struck in San Francisco in the year the San Francisco Mint opened, all of which were gold. In the Gold Rush days of San Francisco, gold depositors needed gold turned into coins for easy shipment and exchange – meaning that eagles and double eagles were struck in substantial numbers while smaller denominations were not demanded by gold depositors as vigorously. No silver was coined at San Francisco until the next year, 1855, when half dollars were produced with an S mintmark for the first time.
Of the ten surviving 1854-S quarter eagles known to numismatists, all have seen circulation and some are well-worn. None approaches Mint State, and the finest certified by NGC is graded AU-53. PCGS has certified only 2 specimens, the finer of which is graded AU-50. “This coin has nice old-fashioned eye appeal, some light signs of circulation, and a good overall look,” says John Pack, who studied the coin and dealt with the family who consigned it. “They’ve taken marvelous care of it and we’re excited to have been selected to handle it.”
The 1854-S quarter eagle will be offered as part of the C.L. Lee and Allison Park Collections at the Loews Beverly Hills Hotel on September 18, 2005. For a copy of the catalogue, contact ANR at 866-811-1804 or online at www.anrcoins.com.
For information on how to consign to a future ANR auction event, contact John Pack at firstname.lastname@example.org.