The 1855-C is among the rarest Charlotte quarter eagles from the standpoint of number known. It used to be one of the two or three rarest in high grades but enough have turned up in AU55 to MS62 in recent years that this date now trails issues such as the 1841-C, 1842-C and 1849-C. Nonetheless, an accurately graded Choice AU example is scarce and this lustrous slider is very close to being "new." I'm not sure why NGC didn't grade it a full AU58 (this is what I expected when I submitted it) as it certainly has the luster and body of many of the 1855-C quarter eagles that I have seen in AU58 holders. Some slight weakness of strike at the central reverse is typical for the issue and might be the cause of this conservative grade. This is the only AU55+ that NGC has graded for this date. A good value as an AU58 would cost close to five figures yet wouldn't be any nicer.
From the PCGS and NGC population figures, you'd think that AU58 examples of this date aren't all that rare. But in nearly three decades of specializing in Charlotte gold dollars, I think I have seen maybe four or five that were properly graded and this example may be the first I've seen that is crusty AND well struck. Strike and planchet preparation are a huge issue for the 1855-C dollar and over 80% of the known examples are poorly detailed and have numerous issues with the surfaces. Other than some clashmarks at the central obverse and some mint-made roughness at the center of the reverse, this piece has incredible surfaces. It is also undipped and in possession of wonderful color with nicely mottled green-gold and orange hues on the obverse and reverse. In properly graded AU58, the 1855-C dollar is actually nearly as rare as the more celebrated (and far more expensive) 1855-D. CAC has only approved two 1855-C gold dollars in AU58 with none higher than this. A really special coin that would be almost impossible to improve upon in the near future.