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

1843-D $2.50 Large D (Regular Strike)

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AU58 estimated grade
Image courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

DATE COMPARISON

PCGS AU50
PCGS #:
97730
Diameter:
18.00 millimeters
Designer:
Christian Gobrecht
Weight:
4.18 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
3,537
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$12,657 • NGC MS62 • 8-9-2007 • Heritage
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350
1
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450
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600
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850
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1,150
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1,350
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1,600
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1,750
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1,950
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2,150
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2,600
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60
11,000
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14,500
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61
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 40 R-8.7 5 / 147 TIE 5 / 147 TIE
60 or Better 3 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 MS61 PCGS grade  
1 MS61 PCGS grade  
3 AU58 PCGS grade  
3 AU58 PCGS grade  
5 AU53 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS61 PCGS grade  
1 MS61 PCGS grade  
3 AU58 PCGS grade  
3 AU58 PCGS grade  
5 AU53 PCGS grade  
6 AU50 PCGS grade  
6 AU50 PCGS grade  
Doug Winter: In 1843, the number of quarter eagles struck at the Dahlonega Mint exceeded the combined production of all four of the previous issues. In fact, the 36,209 pieces produced represents the highest mintage figure for any Dahlonega quarter eagle. Not surprisingly, this is the most common quarter eagle from this mint.

The 1843-D is an easily obtainable coin in the lower circulated grades and average quality About Uncirculated examples can be located with minimal effort. It is much rarer than generally realized in the highest About Uncirculated grades and it is extremely rare in full Mint State.

STRIKE: The 1843-D is the best struck of the early Dahlonega quarter eagles. It generally shows detail which is superior to most coins from this mint. On the typical example, the obverse is quite sharp. There may be some weakness on the curls around the eye of Liberty but most are very bold at the center. The stars are sharp and most show full radial lines. The milling is complete although it may sometimes be a bit blurry at the 5:00-7:00 area. The reverse is also well struck. Most examples are weak on the eagle’s right leg but the other details on the legs, neck, and wing tips are full. The milling is bold with the exception of the 11:00-1:00 area which is sometimes weak.

SURFACES: Many show detracting abrasions or other signs of mishandling. This is a frequently cleaned issue and the surfaces often show deep, obtrusive hairlines. It is possible to locate an 1843-D which has choice surfaces but it may prove more difficult than a coin of this relatively high availability would suggest.

LUSTER: The luster on high-grade 1843-D quarter eagles is above average. Many show rich, frosty luster. Some are known with semi-prooflike to almost fully prooflike fields.

COLORATION: A broad range of colors have been observed on original, high grade examples. Medium to deep orange-gold and medium coppery-green hues are most frequently seen. Locating original 1843-D quarter eagles has become harder in recent years as many have been cleaned or dipped.

EYE APPEAL: The level of eye appeal for the 1843-D quarter eagle is above average. In fact, this date is very good for use as a type coin since it can sometimes be found with a good strike, acceptable surfaces, nice luster, and pleasing color.

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: The 1843-D was clearly a workhorse issue among Dahlonega quarter eagles. When available, the typical piece is well worn. Moreover, this is an extremely rare coin in full Mint State. This is atypical of many of the issues from the 1850’s, which tend to be rare by virtue of their low mintage figures, show less wear from commercial usage when compared to counterparts from the early 1840’s, and can be found in higher grades on a proportionally greater basis.

DIE VARIETIES: There are a total of four die varieties known. Three of these use the Small D mintmark (as on the 1840-1842 issues) while one uses the Large D mintmark (as on the 1844-1859 issues). These are two major varieties which should be recognized by collectors and one of each reverse needs to be included in a quarter eagle set to make it truly complete.

Variety 4-H: Large Mintmark. It is believed that 3,537 1843-D quarter eagles using this reverse were struck on October 7, 1843. This reverse was used in 1843, 1844 and 1846. The shaft of the arrow is joined to the mintmark at the right edge of its upright. The fraction bar extends to the left side of the opening in the mintmark. Feathers fill the upper part of the opening in the mintmark and extend down to near the center of the opening. The mintmark is slightly rotated counterclockwise from the upright towards the eagle’s talon. The right edge of the upright of the 1 in the fraction is a little to the left of the lower serif of the mintmark.

This variety is quite rare and it should sell for a substantial premium over the common 4-D and 4-F varieties.
Gordon Wrubel: The Large D mintmark Has the left top of the D almost touching the eagle's talon. The Small D mintmark has the left top of the D spaced away from the eagle's talon.