DWN Sells Newly Discovered Second Finest Known 1845-O Quarter Eagle

Douglas Winter Numismatics of Portland, Oregon recently bought and sold an extremely important New Orleans quarter eagle: a PCGS/CAC MS61 1845-O which is believed to be the second finest known, and is now the fourth Uncirculated example of this date.

1845-O $2.50 PCGS MS61 CAC; newly discovered, second finest known

1845-O $2.50 PCGS MS61 CAC; newly discovered, second finest known

The 1845-O is far and away the rarest New Orleans quarter eagle, both in terms of overall and high grade rarity. Only 4,000 were produced and it is currently estimated that 70-80 exist. This date is seldom seen above AU53 to AU55, and it is extremely rare in Uncirculated with just four known.

The newly-discovered PCGS/CAC MS61 was purchased by DWN from a wholesale dealer located in the South. It was originally graded MS62 by NGC, but I decided to downgrade the coin in order to reflect a more accurate grade. To be honest, I could have lived with this coin in a 62 holder but it seemed more saleable as a PCGS/CAC and in order to make this happen, I went with the 61 grade.


Equally important is the fact that this coin is currently the only 1845-O quarter eagle to have been approved by CAC in any Uncirculated grade. There are five approved in AU58, and I believe this figure is slightly inflated by resubmissions.

I first found about this coin from a Facebook post in a coin dealer user group and it took me literally seconds to inquire about it. I wanted to see the coin in hand before I purchased it, and when it arrived in my office a few days later, it did not disappoint.

What makes this coin special is its crisp, natural appearance. It is strongly struck and very lustrous with exceptional surfaces. It lacks the rub or light wear seen on most Uncirculated coins graded MS62 or lower, and the quality of the planchet is far above-average for the issue. I immediately considered it to be the second finest known.

The coin was sold for a mid-five figure price to a Kansas collector who has assembled the finest set of Liberty Head quarter eagles. This set contains Uncirculated examples of virtually every issue struck from 1839 through 1907 (it contains a higher grade 1854-S but this date is unknown above AU50) with numerous finest known and Condition Census coins. DWN has been the exclusive supplier of this set for over two decades.

The revised Condition Census list for this date is as follows:

  • PCGS MS63: Private collection via Douglas Winter Numismatics, 1999, ex 1987 ANA: 538, Bowers and Merena 11/1983: 110, Virgil Brand Collection.

  • PCGS/CAC MS61 (also NGC MS62): Kansas Collection, ex Douglas Winter Numismatics, 2018, Southern dealer.

  • PCGS MS61: New England Collection via Douglas Winter Numismatics, 2012, ex Heritage 2/12: 4636.

  • NGC MS60: Kansas Collection, duplicate.

For a more detailed list, see page 70 in my recent book on New Orleans gold coinage.

Douglas Winter Numismatics has handled more great Liberty Head quarter eagles than any other dealership and this important second finest known 1845-O ranks as one of the highlights we have sold in 2018.

Would you like to collect great US gold coins of the caliber of this second finest known 1845-O quarter eagle? Douglas Winter Numismatics is the hobby’s best source for choice and rare US gold. For more information, contact Doug Winter by email at dwn@ont.com.