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1875 Liberty Head Quarter Eagle. AU-53 (PCGS).
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Legendary Low Mintage 1875 Quarter EagleJust 400 Circulation Strikes Produced1875 Liberty Head Quarter Eagle. AU-53 (PCGS).An attractive and highly significant example of one of the lowest mintage circulation strike issues in the United States Mint's entire classic gold series. Handsome honey-olive patina blankets both sides, the surfaces with a touch of pale silver tinting through which traces of semi-prooflike reflectivity shine as the coin dips into a light. The devices retain virtually full definition, suggestive of a razor sharp strike from the dies. A visually appealing coin with solid technical quality and undeniable rarity, this impressive example will have no difficulty finding its way into another advanced gold cabinet.With the exception of the double eagle denomination, gold coin production at the Philadelphia Mint in 1875 can only be described as minuscule at best. Only 400 gold dollars, 400 quarter eagles, 200 half eagles, and 100 eagles were struck for circulation, while the three-dollar gold piece was only made in Proof format. The reason for these limited mintages is that gold specie payments, which were suspended in the North early in the Civil War, had still not resumed by the mid 1870s. In 1875, in fact, the federal government mandated that gold coins would be exchangeable at par with paper currency as of January 1, 1879. The market actually anticipated this event and achieved parity on its own, but not until December 17, 1878, a date that was still more than three years in the future in early 1875. In the meantime, yearly production of circulation strike gold coins at the Philadelphia Mint remained at a paltry level for all denominations except the double eagle, which was needed for commercial banking transactions with foreign countries.While the circulation strike 1875 quarter eagle is appreciated today as one of the rarest and most famous key date issues in the Liberty Head series, at the time of production numismatists preferred to obtain Proof specimens rather than coins intended for commercial use. As a result, very few circulation strikes of this date managed to survive. In his 1975 study of auction records for United States gold coins, David W. Akers postulated that only 15 to 20 circulation strike 1875 quarter eagles survive, however, Garrett and Guth's more recent (2008) estimate of about 50 coins extant is the more accepted figure. Most examples are in higher circulated grades, as here, suggesting that they were probably retrieved from bank reserves in the early 20th century. With Mint State specimens formidable condition rarities that seldom appear on the market, attractive AU examples such as that offered here represent the finest realistically obtainable for this legendary issue.Provenance: From the Maurice Snow Collection. Acquired from Harry J. Forman, September 1981.PCGS Population: 3; 30 finer, just seven of which are Mint State (MS-62 finest).PCGS# 7822. NGC ID: 25KS.Click here for certification details from PCGS.
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