1825 Capped Head Left Quarter Eagle. BD-3. Rarity-6+. Die State a/a. Recut 5, Close Fraction. MS-61 (PCGS).
Exceptional Mint State 1825 BD-3 Quarter Eagle
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Die Variety: The 5 is low -- below the top of the 2 as well as the bottom of the 2, and leans to the left at the top. The flag of the 5 shows repunching on the tip. The left base of 1 is over the left edge of a dentil and there are 105 obverse dentils. The reverse die is also new, finally replacing the long lasting reverse of 1821 that finally cracked severely in 1825 during coinage of the BD-2 variety. This new reverse uses slightly smaller letters, notably the A punch, while the singular use of the M punch in AMERICA is too large and towers over the E to the right. The fraction in the denomination is tighter, with the 1 barely over the fraction bar while the 2 below touches it. The D in the denomination is also smaller than that previously seen, but is still larger than the D used in UNITED.
Die State: a/a. Early die state as always seen, the obverse apparently retired while the reverse die continued in use through 1827.
Estimated mintage for the variety: 250 to 750 coins of the 4,434 struck in total for the year, a figure that includes three distinct die pairings.
Estimated surviving population: 12 to 15 coins.
Strike: Fully and sharply struck on the obverse and reverse, with crisp definition on Liberty's curls and all the star centers with full radial lines. Sharp on the reverse too, this is clearly a well made circulation strike coin that was carefully preserved over the decades.
Surfaces: Pleasing surfaces with fields that display a blend of satiny texture along with reflectivity with the entire surface graced by elegant copper-gold toning favoring the periphery and accenting the devices. This blend of features creates the desirable antique appearance on this historic and prized rarity.
Commentary: We reiterate that it is incredible that three die pairs were used to strike a low number of coins. In view of much longer die use in other series, there must be a reason for this.
Q. David Bowers: Here is another opportunity to acquire a variety that, to use the terminology of the New Netherlands Coin Co. in the 1950s, is RRR.
John W. Dannreuther: As with the BD-1 combination for this year, the BD-3 is one of the true rarities in the quarter eagle series. Collectors and dealers will vie for these diminutive jewels and the buyer will own a near R-7 rarity.
PCGS# 7664. NGC ID: 25FG.
Pedigree: From the Dr. James A. Ferrendelli Collection. Earlier from our (Bowers and Ruddy's) Garrett Collection sale of March 1980, lot 745; and our (Stack's) sale of March 2002, lot 1021.
PCGS Population: 10; 14 finer for the date (MS-67 finest).
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