1865 $2.50 NGC AU58

There are a trio of very rare quarter eagles made at the Philadelphia mint during the Civil War. The foremost is the Proof-only 1863 with a mintage of 30 and just behind this is the 1864. But the 1865 is almost as rare, despite being less heralded, with an original mintage of only 1,520. Clearly, less than three dozen survive and the 1865 is actually as rare as the 1864 in terms of high(er) grade specimens. There are exactly three 1864 quarter eagles in Uncirculated but just one 1865 (a PCGS MS63) and the two dates are reasonably similar in terms of rarity in the AU grades with around ten or so known. The present example is appealing for the date and grade with an especially choice obverse that shows nice peripheral color and fewer marks than normal; the reverse is mostly untoned with a few more marks seen in the fields. I was recently offered an AU55 of this date (for just a shade less than $20,000) which I think was vastly inferior to this coin and the piece offered here is, in fact, one of the nicer examples of this date that I have seen or owned. In the last decade, there have been ten auction records for the 1865 quarter eagle in AU58 ranging in price from a low of $17,250 to a high of $25,875. This date has really not gone up all that much in price while the 1863 and 1864 have shown strong gains of late. In my opinion, the 1865 is very undervalued and as Civil War rarities become more appreciated, I think it has good potential to appreciate in price.