1856-S $2.50 NGC MS61, ex-Eliasberg

With the 1854-S being priced out of the reach of most collectors, the 1856-S is, for all intents and purposes, the earliest date quarter eagle that is available from this mint. The 1856-S is common in lower grades and only marginally scarce in the higher AU range but it is very scarce in Uncirculated and nearly unavailable higher than MS61 to MS62. This well struck example has nice frosty luster and an even, pale green-gold color. There are a few minor scuffs in the fields that are consistent with the grade but no trace of rub can be found on the high spots. My best guess is that there are around ten properly graded Uncirculated 1856-S and the PCGS/NGC populations are severely inflated by resubmissions. An interesting, numismatically significant coin made all the more desirable by its unbeatable pedigree.

Ex Scotsman 10/08: 801 ($4,600), Bowers and Ruddy 10/82: 179 ($550), Eliasberg collection.