1855-D $2.50 NGC AU53

Only 1,123 examples were struck and the 1855-D is the second rarest Dahlonega quarter eagle, trailing only the 1856-D. This date is of the highest rarity in Uncirculated (I just bought the finest known, a PCGS MS63, for $86,250) and there are probably not more than a dozen or so known in properly graded About Uncirculated. When available--which is not often--the typical 1855-D grades EF or so and is characterized by faulty planchets and bright, problem-ridden surfaces. This piece was struck on a decent planchet and it has natural russet color on the upper obverse and the right reverse. The strike is irregular as usual with some weakness at the borders but the stars are full and have complete radial lines. There is a mint-made reverse defect on the reverse rim at 3:00 which I think actually adds a bit of character to the overall look and is not a negative given its position on the reverse. I can probably count on one hand the number of 1855-D quarter eagles that I have seen with color that was as appealing as this coin's and this example would fit comfortably into even the finest set of Dahlonega quarter eagles. Ex Heritage 4/11: 5332, where it sold for $14,950