1864 $2.50 PCGS EF45 CAC

The three rarest circulation strike Liberty Head quarter eagles, in order, are the 1841, the 1854-S and the 1864. There are probably fewer than ten business strike 1841's and around twelve to fourteen of the 1854-S. The rarity of the 1864 isn't as well known but it doesn't lag the 1841 and the 1854-S by all that much with around twenty or so known in all grades (including the incredible Byron Reed NGC MS67 example which, in my opinion, is the single greatest Liberty Head quarter eagle in existence). Only 2,824 1864 quarter eagles were made and this issue was heavily melted as were all gold coins of the Civil War era. There are exactly three known in Uncirculated and maybe another eight or nine in About Uncirculated. After years of neglect, this issue has gained some popularity and the last three auction appearances for the date (all of which occcured in 2011) saw records of $46,000 for a PCGS AU55, $46,000 for an NGC AU58 and $40,250 for another in NGC AU58. In addition, I was recently offered an NGC AU58 for $49,000 by a knowledgable wholesale dealer. The example I offer for sale here is totally fresh to the market and it is perhaps the only circulated 1864 quarter eagle that I have seen that has original color and surfaces. From the standpoint of detail, this coin resembles an AU50 or even better and there is lovely natural reddish-gold color on both sides. There is a small natural mint-made planchet flaw at star six on the obverse that is not nearly as visible on the actual coin as it is on the image; the rest of the surfaces are very clean with no marks of note. I feel that this date is exceptionally undervalued given its rarity. I recently purchased an 1854-S quarter eagle in PCGS F12 for close to $200,000 and felt it was a very good deal; at one-tenth of the price, a nice EF 1864 just seems too cheap. If you are a serious Civil War gold collector or if you specialize in Liberty Head quarter eagles you are aware of this date's rarity and how hard it is to locate with such good eye appeal.