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

1842-C $2.50 (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS65
PCGS #:
7724
Diameter:
18.00 millimeters
Designer:
Christian Gobrecht
Weight:
4.18 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
6,729
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$90,850 • NGC MS65 • 2-1-1999 • Heritage
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 115 R-7.8 43 / 147 TIE 43 / 147 TIE
60 or Better 4 R-9.8 5 / 147 TIE 5 / 147 TIE
65 or Better 1 R-10.0 1 / 147 TIE 1 / 147 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS65 PCGS grade

New England Rare Coin Auctions 1/1982:1275 - Elrod Collection - William Miller Collection - Heritage 2/1999:6146, $90,850

2 MS64 estimated grade  
3 MS62 PCGS grade  
Soluna Collection - Heritage 1/2017:5805, $37,600
 
This may be Winthrop Carner - Jim Gray Collection - Doug Winter & Lee Minshull, sold privately in 1/1999
4 MS61 PCGS grade  

Elmer Sears, sold privately in 4/1906 - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Ruddy 10/1982:121, $1,870 - Superior 6/1998:2097 - Doug Winter & Lee Minshull, sold privately in 8/1998 - Paul Dingler Collection - Grand Lake Collection - Heritage 2/2009:2445, $21,850

5 AU58 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS65 PCGS grade

New England Rare Coin Auctions 1/1982:1275 - Elrod Collection - William Miller Collection - Heritage 2/1999:6146, $90,850

2 MS64 estimated grade  
3 MS62 PCGS grade  
Soluna Collection - Heritage 1/2017:5805, $37,600
 
This may be Winthrop Carner - Jim Gray Collection - Doug Winter & Lee Minshull, sold privately in 1/1999
4 MS61 PCGS grade  

Elmer Sears, sold privately in 4/1906 - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Ruddy 10/1982:121, $1,870 - Superior 6/1998:2097 - Doug Winter & Lee Minshull, sold privately in 8/1998 - Paul Dingler Collection - Grand Lake Collection - Heritage 2/2009:2445, $21,850

5 AU58 PCGS grade  
5 AU58 PCGS grade  
5 AU58 estimated grade  
5 AU58 estimated grade  
9 AU55 PCGS grade  
9 AU55 PCGS grade  
David Akers (1975/88): Always very weakly struck and, like the 1841-C, often seen with a broad border and wire rim. Very rare in all grades. Stanley Kesselman says he handled a choice Unc. a few years ago, but I have never seen a strictly uncirculated 1842-C quarter eagle, and no more than a few that even graded a full EF. Like every quarter eagle from 1840 to 1842 (except 1841), the 1842-C is largely unappreciated as a rarity, and therefore, substantially undervalued.
Doug Winter: 1842-C is one of the rarest quarter eagles from this mint. It is also one of the rarest coins of any denomination produced in Charlotte. It still remains relatively undervalued and under publicized in spite of its rarity.

The 1842-C quarter eagle is a rare coin in any grade. It is nearly always seen in heavily worn conditions and is rare even properly graded EF40. This is the rarest Charlotte quarter eagle in high grades and properly graded AU examples are seldom offered for sale. In Mint state there are no more than three or four known, including one Gem, which is probably the single finest Charlotte quarter eagle of any date.

STRIKE: The quality of strike seen on this date is often very poor. The obverse shows noticeable weakness at the center with softly defined curls around the face and weakness on the top of the hair and the bun. The word LIBERTY is flat and on some coins it may be difficult to read. The Stars are usually very flat and show almost no definition on the radial lines. The denticles are strong with the exception of the 10:00 to 1:00 area. The border is very wide and there is often a wire rim at the upper portion of the right side. The date is flat with 18 weaker than the 42. The reverse is also poorly detailed at the center. The neck feathers, wing tips and legs seldom show full detail and the edge of the shield is weak. The denticles are well-formed while the border is wide and framed by a partial wire edge. A small number are known with comparatively sharp strikes. There are considered very desirable by specialists.

SURFACES: Almost every known piece is very heavily marked with numerous deep, detracting abrasions in the fields. It is common to see examples with deep scratches or gouges on the surfaces as well as marks on the rims.

LUSTER: Most 1842-C quarter eagles are worn to the point that they have no remaining luster. On those that do, the luster is soft and frosty with a better appearance that one expects to see from an issue with such a poor overall level of quality.

COLORATION: Uncleaned, original examples have light yellow-gold coloration with pale to medium orange-gold overtones. Very few show original color and even low grade pieces are typically found with a scrubbed appearance.

EYE APPEAL: There are just a small handful of examples known with good eye appeal. Most are very unappealing due to poor strikes and heavily abraded surfaces. This is among the most difficult of all Charlotte gold coins to locate with good eye appeal and the few that are offered for sale generally command a strong premium from knowledgeable specialists.

DIE CHARACTERISTICS: Light clashmarks from the obverse are sometimes seen on the reverse near the eagle’s head.

DIE VARIETIES: Only one variety is known.

Variety 1 (formerly Variety 3-B): The 1 in the date is equidistant between the bust and the denticles. The 2 is closer to the denticles. The reverse is the same as that found on the 1841-C quarter eagle. The die crack seen on late die state examples of the 1841-C is now seen on all 1842-C quarter eagles.