SOLD – $2.50 – 1840-O PCGS MS65 CAC, ex Bass/Eliasberg

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SOLD – $2.50 – 1840-O PCGS MS65 CAC, ex Bass/Eliasberg


Serial Number 7720.65/32867371

PCGS Lookup Number 7720

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Bass/Eliasberg Pedigree, as designated by PCGS.

The 1840-O quarter eagle is numismatically significant as the first Liberty Head issue from this mint. A total of 33,850 were made and fewer than 200 exist, mostly in Extremely Fine-40 to About Uncirculated-50 grades. There are around 10 or so known in Uncirculated with nearly all in the MS60 to MS62 range. There are two Gems known: the present example (on the market for the first time since 1999) and an uncertified piece in a Texas collection which has been off the market since it sold at auction in May, 1965.

There are four Gem New Orleans quarter eagles (besides the aforementioned “raw” 1840-O) of which I am aware: an NGC MS66 1843-O Small Date (ex Bass II: 353, as PCGS MS64), an NGC MS66 1846-O (ex Pittman II: 1754 at a record-setting $132,000), an NGC MS65 1847-O (off the market since I last sold it in 2002) and this PCGS MS65 1840-O. I have seen all four coins and I like the Bass/Eliasberg 1840-O the best; even more than the MS66 1846-O which was recently offered to me at a price higher than what it sold for at its last auction appearance.

This is an amazing coin with an amazing pedigree to match. It is wonderfully fresh in appearance with gorgeous orange-gold and greenish colors, in similar hues and proportions, on the obverse and the reverse. The surfaces are very clean with just a few light abrasions; none break deeply into the surface. The strike is slightly soft on the central reverse which is typical for this issue and which in no way is detracting. I feel that this coin should have graded at least MS65+ and, in all honesty, it wouldn’t look “wrong” in an MS66 holder.

“Opportunity” is an important concept in collecting. It is not often that collectors get the chance to acquire something really, truly special and when such items are available they are typically in an auction environment. I believe that this coin deserves to be included in the finest set of New Orleans gold coinage imaginable as it is truly unimprovable.

CAC has approved just this one coin in any Uncirculated grade.

Ex: Bass II: 331 (Bowers and Merena 10/99; as PCGS MS64) where it sold for $36,800; Eliasberg: 115 (Bowers and Merena 10/82) where it sold for $7,425.