1851-D $2.50 NGC MS62 CAC

This fresh-to-the-market coin was discovered at the recent Philadelphia ANA show, sold to a wholesale dealer and was then sold to me. This is the first time it has ever been offered to collectors and it is one of the more important individual Dahlonega quarter eagles that I've handled all year. This is a date that is not generally seen with good eye appeal but there are a few higher quality pieces known that are attractive. This is clearly one of those. It is well struck and fully original with nice natural green-gold color and soft, satiny luster. There are no describable marks and if this coin were graded MS63 it would not look out of place in the holder. I know of approximately six Uncirculated 1851-D quarter eagles. The finest is the NGC MS65/PCGS MS64 Duke's Creek: 1508 coin that sold for $63,250 in April 2006. There are three coins graded MS62 by PCGS. One is in a Georgia collection and is ex Jasper Robertson: 1267 while another is a coin that I sold to a Kansas collector and it is from the Chestatee collection. The NGC population report shows an MS64 but I believe that this is the Duke's Creek coin mentioned above. There are no auction records for an MS62 since the aforementioned Chestatee coin that sold for $12,075 back in August 1999; the Robertson coin, then graded MS61, sold for a rousing $28,000 in the 1999 FUN auction. The present example is solidly in the Condition Census for the date and it is the best 1851-D quarter eagle that I've handled since the finest known Duke's Creek coin that I sold over six years ago. This is an extremely important coin for the serious Dahlonega collector.

This is the only 1851-D quarter eagle in MS62 to be approved by CAC with none finer.

1851-D $5.00 PCGS F15 CAC

I'm not certain that this matters on a coin of this caliber but it appears to be very undergraded to me and I think its closer to VF25 (or even a bit better) in terms of sharpness. Original as all get-out, this coin has plenty of dirt caked in the protected areas and nice deep color on both sides. And its a slightly better date as well. A perfect inexpensive Dahlonega half eagle for the beginning collector.

1851-D $1.00 NGC AU58

As a date, the 1851-D is the second most available Type One dollar from this mint but it is at least two to three times more scarce than the 1849-D. There were only 9,982 produced and this issue tended to see rather heavy circulation with examples usually in the EF40 to AU50 range. Choice AU 1851-D dollars are scarce and examples with natural color and surfaces are quite rare. This piece has some of the most attractive color that I can recall having seen on an 1851-D dollar with both the obverse and reverse showing very deep rich green-gold hues with contrasting shades of russet in the fields. The strike is sharp for the issue with fewer of the usual clashmarks and strong detail seen on the hair, date and mintmark. Below the color, there appears to be a considerable amount of luster and there seems to be no real wear, just a touch of friction on the high spots. This is a superb coin which deserves a strong premium on account of its coloration and it would make a great addition to a Dahlonega set that emphasized eye appeal.

1851-D $2.50 NGC EF40

I've noticed a real surge in interest in nicely toned branch mint gold and this makes sense. In silver and copper coins, you can have a $100 coin that is worth an enormous premium because of its great color. Why isn't the same true with gold coins, especially when they are so hard to find? This attractive 1851-D quarter eagle is well detailed with splashes of rich orange-gold and coppery-rose hues on the obverse and reverse. There is a small, shallow mint-made plnachet defect on the obverse between stars two and three and a few contact marks seen on both sides but this piece has great eye appeal. As a date, the 1851-D is far scarcer than the 1843-50 Dahlonega issues and it is extremely hard to find with good color.

1851-D $5.00 PCGS AU53 CAC

Sharp Mintmark variety. The 1851-D is one of the rarer half eagles from this mint in terms of overall and high grade rarity. It is almost never seen in AU grades with a sharp mintmark and I doubt if more than ten are known that have natural color and surfaces. In fact, the last PCGS AU53 with a strong mintmark to be offered for sale was Bass III: 434 which brought $3,680 all the way back in May 2000. This piece has lovely deep natural green gold color with some dirt visible in the protected areas of the lettering. As with all known examples of this die pair (Variety 25-Q) there is weakness noted at the centers. This is the first really nice example of this date that I have seen or sold in many years and I regard it is being highly undervalued. This is the only AU53 1851-D half eagle to have received CAC approval and only one finer example of this date has been stickered by this service.

1851-D $5.00 NGC VF35

The 1851-D is one of the half dozen scarcest half eagles from this mint and it is far harder to find in all grades than such better known (and more expensive) issues as the 1838-D, 1839-D, 1846-D/D and 1860-D. This example is completely original and is just on the cusp of being a full EF40 coin. It shows deep, natural color on both sides and has good overall detail for the date and grade.

1851-D $5.00 PCGS EF45

In collector grades (i.e., VF and EF) the 1851-D is one of the more difficult Dahlonega half eagles to find. When available, it is inevitably softly struck, bright from having been dipped and heavily abraded. This deeply toned, sharply struck example is a welcome exception. It displays rich natural russet-gold color with some purplish iridescence surrounding the stars, date and reverse lettering. The surfaces are free of any significant marks and the strike is exceptional for the date with completely defined centers and a strong mintmark placed far to the right. On the reverse, there is a good deal of dirt adhering to the lettering and within the lines of the shield. In my experience, this date, along with the 1848-D, is the most underrated half eagle from this mint and pieces of this quality are genuinely scarce.

1851-D $1.00 NGC AU58 CAC

Old Fatty Holder. This example was graded and encapsulated many years ago. It shows just a slight amount of wear on the surfaces with a considerable amount of natural luster present. Both sides have medium natural reddish-gold color with the hues a bit deeper and more extensive on the obverse. The strike is sharp and even with a strong date and mintmark. The 1851-D is the second most available Type One gold dollar from this mint but it is considerably scarcer than the 1849-D. This would make a great type coin for the collector who wants a nice gold dollar from Dahlonega but who is willing to pay a bit more to acquire a more interesting piece than a run-of-the-mill 1849-D.