Old Green Label holder. By today's standards, I grade this coin a solid AU58. While showing a typical strike with some weakness at this center, there is little else that is "typical" about this coin. It shows attractive deep, even green-gold color on the obverse and reverse with a good deal of underlying luster. Some dirt can be seen within the lettering on the obverse and the surfaces are very clean with no major abrasions or mint-made defects notable to the naked eye. While probably the most available Dahlonega gold dollar of the Type Three design, it is never easy to locte an affordable example of this date with original surfaces and good overall eye appeal.
This newly discovered, fresh-to-the-market coin is not only the best 1859-D quarter eagle that I have ever seen, it is quite possibly the finest known for the date. The 1859-D is a scarce date in all grades with a mintage of just 2,244. It is likely that a small hoard existed at one time as survivors are almost never seen in VF and EF grades but most are clustered in the AU range. In Uncirculated, the rarity of this issue is indisputable. I know of three examples that grade MS62: this coin, Duke's Creek: 1515 (in an NGC holder; it sold for $37,375 in 2006) and Green Pond: 1036 (in a PCGS holder; it sold for $34,500 back in 2004). I like this coin better than either the Duke's Creek or Green Pond coins. It has wonderful deep, rich green-gold, orange and pale reddish hues with very choice surfaces and better luster than usual. For the date, it is well made and well detailed. Most importantly, it is fresh in appearance with no signs of having ever been cleaned or dipped. At the recent Heritage sale of the Baltimore Collection of quarter eagles, the few very high quality pieces that were available brought very strong prices. If you are putting together a world-class set of Dahlonega gold coins, the significance of this remarkable 1859-D quarter eagle will be clear.
Evenly worn with pleasing medium to deep natural coloration on the obverse and the reverse. The strike is typical for the issue with some weakness at the centers but all of the details are defined except for the bow knot. The surfaces are especially clean which is uncommon for this issue. The 1859-D tends to be found in either very low grades or higher grades (AU55 and above) making it a hard issue for the collector on an average budget to acquire. This is a really solid example that would fit nicely into a date set of D mint gold dollars.