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SERIES: Liberty Head $2 1/2 1840-1907
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1841-C $2.50 (Regular Strike)

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18.00 millimeters
Christian Gobrecht
4.18 grams
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$41,250 • MS62 • 5-1-1998 • David Akers
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 110 R-7.9 41 / 147 TIE 41 / 147 TIE
60 or Better 4 R-9.8 5 / 147 TIE 5 / 147 TIE
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 147 1 / 147
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS62 PCGS grade  

Stack’s/Bowers 11/2012:3243, not sold

2 AU58 PCGS grade  
2 AU58 PCGS grade  
2 AU58 PCGS grade  
2 AU58 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS62 PCGS grade  

Stack’s/Bowers 11/2012:3243, not sold

2 AU58 PCGS grade  
2 AU58 PCGS grade  
2 AU58 PCGS grade  
2 AU58 PCGS grade  
2 AU58 PCGS grade  
2 AU58 PCGS grade  
2 AU58 estimated grade  
2 AU58 estimated grade  
2 AU58 estimated grade  
David Akers (1975/88): This scarce date is always weakly struck, particularly on the head of Liberty, although most examples do have a wire rim. The specimens that I have seen all have a tiny C mintmark embedded in the feathers of the arrow. Because of poor striking, many specimens appear more worn than they actually are. Nevertheless, strictly uncirculated specimens are very rare and I have seen only two or three pieces in that grade, the finest being an Unc-60+ coin that Paramount sold last year. (PCCGS CoinFacts editors note: "last year" would be 1974 as the David Akers quarter eagle book was published in 1975)
Doug Winter: The 1841-C is among the rarest Charlotte quarter eagles. It is especially difficult to locate in higher grades. Its rarity is compounded by the fact that it is a poorly produced issue.

The 1841-C quarter eagle is scarce in all grades. It is most often seen in VF and EF grades, and lower end AU coins are very scarce. In the upper to higher range of AU, the 1841-C is extremely scarce. Most of the examples that I have seen are not choice. In Uncirculated the 1841-C is extremely rare, and it is doubtful that more than four to five properly graded coins exist.

STRIKE: The 1841-C displays a fairly good strike although it is not as sharply impressed as the 1840-C quarter eagle. The obverse center displays good detail with the exception of the center which is invariably weak on the curls around the face and the ear. The stars are sharp and a number have full radial lines. The reverse also shows a good overall impression with the exception of the right leg and the lift tip of the wing which are often weak. On both sides the denticles are complete and sharp.

SURFACES: Nearly all known examples of this date are heavily abraded. Many have noticeable nicks and cuts in the fields as well as numerous marks on the rims. This is among the hardest quarter eagles from this mint to find with clean surfaces.

LUSTER: The few 1841-C quarter eagles which have any remaining luster have a soft, frosty texture. It is very difficult to locate examples with good luster since most are very worn. This is compounded by the fact that an unusually high percentage of survivors have been cleaned.

COLORATION: Since most have been cleaned, the typical piece shows a washed-out, unnatural coloration. Original coins often have a pronounced orange-gold hue which may be overlaid with rich coppery shadings.

EYE APPEAL: Due to heavily abraded surfaces and unappealing coloration, the eye appeal of the typical 1841-C quarter eagle is well below-average. There are only a small number known with good eye appeal and these typically command a strong premium among knowledgeable specialists.

DIE CHARACTERISTICS: There is a die scratch on the obverse from the top of the outside point of the fourth star into the field. The reverse often shows clashmarks which join the eagle’s beak to its wing.

DIE VARIETIES: Only one variety is known.

Variety 1 (formerly Variety 2-B): The first 1 in the date is closer to the bust than to the denticles while the second 1 is closer to the denticles. The reverse was used in 1841 and again in 1842. The mintmark is small and it is joined to the lower feathers. These feathers extend slightly into the center of the mintmark at the upper right. The mintmark is much closer to the fraction bar than to the talon or the 1.

Late die states show light clashmarks along the outside of Liberty’s nose and a break on the reverse from the eagle’s right wing tip to the edge. Coins struck from unbroken dies are very scarce.