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

1857-D $2.50 (Regular Strike)

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18.00 millimeters
Christian Gobrecht
4.18 grams
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$21,850 • PCGS MS62 • 3-24-2010 • Heritage
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 125 R-7.7 48 / 147 TIE 48 / 147 TIE
60 or Better 10 R-9.5 57 / 147 TIE 57 / 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 MS63 PCGS grade  
2 MS62 PCGS grade  
2 MS62 PCGS grade  
2 MS62 PCGS grade  
2 MS62 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS63 PCGS grade  
2 MS62 PCGS grade  
2 MS62 PCGS grade  
2 MS62 PCGS grade  
2 MS62 PCGS grade  
2 MS62 PCGS grade  
2 MS62 PCGS grade  
8 MS62 estimated grade  
9 MS61 PCGS grade  

American Numismatic Rarities 8/2006:1219, $11,212.50

9 MS61 PCGS grade  
David Akers (1975/88): Certainly very scarce as a date, but considerably easier to obtain in uncirculated condition than most Dahlonega Mint quarter eagles. Generally seen much more sharply struck than the D Mint quarter eagles from 1849 to 1856 and some specimens even have nearly complete denticles. I have seen four or five mint state examples, and undoubtedly a few more exist than that. I repeat, however, this is a very scarce date; it is just that it is not as rare as many of the other Dahlonega Mint quarter eagles in choice condition.
Doug Winter: The 1857-D is an enigmatic issue in the Dahlonega quarter eagle series. Unlike most dates, the 1857-D is more likely to be found in high grades than in lower grades. Although there is no concrete evidence to support this, I believe that a hoard of approximately two dozen attractive high grade pieces existed at one time.

The 1857-D quarter eagle is a scarce coin but not as much so as its very small mintage would suggest. It is most often seen in Extremely Fine and low end About Uncirculated grades. The 1857-D becomes very scarce in the higher About Uncirculated grades and it is very rare in full Mint State.

STRIKE: The 1857-D is much better struck than the other issues from this decade; enough so to make the student of the series wonder how the 1856-D quarter eagle could have been so horribly struck. The obverse of the 1857-D quarter eagle has an unusual soft, sunken look with the edge appearing to be much higher than the fields. The center is quite sharp with nearly complete definition on the hair. The stars appear somewhat small and delicate but they usually show complete radial line definition. The denticles are considerably sharper than on the other Dahlonega quarter eagles from the 1850’s and they are complete on many examples. The reverse does not have the same sunken look as the obverse. But it, too, is well detailed at the center with the eagle showing very sharp detail with the exception of the right leg which is sometimes weak. The denticles are sharp and show nearly full definition on many pieces.

SURFACES: While many are found with visible marks in the fields, it is possible to locate examples which are very clean. There are a number of interesting die characteristics visible on all 1857-D quarter eagles. Two very prominent die scratches go through the 5 and the 7 in the date. The first, second, fourth, ninth and twelfth stars are recut and a series of fine die cracks go through the date to the final three stars.

LUSTER: High grade 1857-D quarter eagles typically show very good luster. This luster is soft and frosty with a pleasing appearance.

COLORATION: Uncleaned, original pieces have been seen with colors ranging from bright yellow-gold to medium rose-gold. The hues seen on this date are much lighter than on the Dahlonega quarter eagles struck earlier in the decade. There are more original examples than most of the other dates from the 1850’s but such coins are very hard to locate.

EYE APPEAL: There are a few extremely attractive examples in existence. It is certainly realistic for the collector to hold out for an 1857-D quarter eagle which is well struck, lustrous, minimally marked and attractively colored.

DIE VARIETIES: Only one die variety is known.

Variety 20-M: On the obverse, the 1 in the date is equally spaced between the bust and the denticles while the 7 is equally spaced between the bust and the denticles. The reverse is the same as described for the 1847-D Variety 9-M but with a reverse die break connecting the lower right side of the O in