1855-D Large D $5.00 PCGS EF40

Variety 38-EE. Large D mintmark. There are two mintmark varieties known for the date. The Large D is considerably scarcer although it generally doesn't bring a big premium. As a date, the 1855-D is the third rarest Dahlonega half eagle, trailing only the 1861-D and the 1842-D Large Date. It is greatly undervalued in all grades and it is amazing that it sells for just a small premium over common issues such as the 1853-D and 1854-D. This example is weakly struck at the centers and shows light orange-gold surfaces with a hint of luster in the protected areas. If you collect Dahlonega half eagles by date or variety, you will recognize the importance of this offering.

1855-D $2.50 PCGS AU55 CAC

At one time I felt that the 1855-D quarter eagle was the rarest coin from this mint. I now believe that this honor goes to the 1856-D quarter eagle but the 1855-D is unquestionably the second rarest. Of the 1,123 struck, around four to five dozen are known and almost all are well worn, poorly made and very unattractive. This coin is none of the above, making it exceptional for the date and grade. The quality of the planchet is far above avergae with none of the peels or imperfections seen on many 1855-D quarter eagles and the strike is actually not bad with some detail seen at the center. The surfaces show luster below medium orange-gold color and the overall eye appeal is far above average. I believe that there are no more than 12-15 properly graded AU examples of this date and at least half show prominent mint-made flaws. The last PCGS AU55 to sell at auction was Heritage 10/11: 4694 that brought $17,250. In the Heritage 2/12 auction, a pair of NGC AU55's sold for $17,250 and $18,400, respectively. An extremely important coin for the advanced specialist.

Ex Heritage 1/03: 4704 where it sold for $17,825.

This is the only 1855-D quarter eagle in AU55 to receive CAC approval; there is one finer with CAC approval.

1855-D $2.50 NGC AU53

Only 1,123 examples were struck and the 1855-D is the second rarest Dahlonega quarter eagle, trailing only the 1856-D. This date is of the highest rarity in Uncirculated (I just bought the finest known, a PCGS MS63, for $86,250) and there are probably not more than a dozen or so known in properly graded About Uncirculated. When available--which is not often--the typical 1855-D grades EF or so and is characterized by faulty planchets and bright, problem-ridden surfaces. This piece was struck on a decent planchet and it has natural russet color on the upper obverse and the right reverse. The strike is irregular as usual with some weakness at the borders but the stars are full and have complete radial lines. There is a mint-made reverse defect on the reverse rim at 3:00 which I think actually adds a bit of character to the overall look and is not a negative given its position on the reverse. I can probably count on one hand the number of 1855-D quarter eagles that I have seen with color that was as appealing as this coin's and this example would fit comfortably into even the finest set of Dahlonega quarter eagles. Ex Heritage 4/11: 5332, where it sold for $14,950