1804 25C Browning 1 MS (PCGS# 5312)
The March 2012 Baltimore Auction
Lot Number: 4065
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One of the key dates to the series and boasting a tiny mintage of 6,738 pieces, similar in mintage to the coveted 1796 quarter, but actually far scarcer as these were not saved at the time of issue. Likely 200 to 300 pieces survive with the vast majority in low grades. Finding a mid grade circulated example requires far more than just patience, as survivors are often fraught with problems and many fall short of the requirements for certification. The offered coin is among the top 25 examples to survive, and a prize for the date or variety specialist. The surfaces are toned with light silver-gray on the obverse and reverse, with blue and russet peripheral accents adding to the eye appeal. In terms of strike the devices are all sharp for this early quarter, with the only softness seen on one of the tiny stars located above the eagle's head, diagnostic for this variety.<br />
Of course all 1804 coinage from the United States is highly coveted, rarities abound with the ultimate crown earned by the famed 1804 silver dollar, known as the "King of American Coins" for its rarity and value. The 1804 eagle, quarter eagle, quarter dollar, dime and large cent are each rare in their own rights. Obtainable issues of 1804 include the half eagle (for a price) and half cent, both of which were issued in sufficient numbers that no premium over type prices are required to secure an example.<br />
<strong>Numismatic Reflections by Q. David Bowers</strong><br />
As a class, the early quarter dollars preceding the Liberty Seated type, are much rarer than related half dollars. The prices are not inexpensive for the quarters, but the difference in price does not reflect the true elusive nature. If you are a half dollar specialist, why not consider adding a few quarter dollars to your cabinet as well. As noted above, the 1804 is especially elusive and here is a nice one.