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1841 $2-1/2 DOLLARS

PCGS No: 7867


Circulation strikes: 0
Proofs: estimated 20

Designer: Christian Gobrecht

Diameter: 18 millimeters

Metal content:
Gold - 90%
Other - 10%

Weight: 64.5 grains (4.18 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia) below the eagle on the reverse

Known as the "Little Princess", the 1841 Quarter Eagle remains a coin of mystery.  Although Mint records indicate that none were made for circulation, the existence of some worn examples indicates otherwise. If the 1841 Quarter Eagle is a Proof-only date, then how can we account for the unusually high number of survivors (12-15 examples), especially from such an early Proof gold coin?  On the other hand, if 1841 Quarter Eagles were made for circulation, why do they not appear in the Mint Reports for the year?

Gold coin expert, David Akers, does not believe this is a Proof-only date, although he knows of " other non-Proof gold coins of any denomination or date that were struck from the same dies of the Proofs of the same year."

The finest examples graded by PCGS are 2 PR-64's.

Known examples:
1. Smithsonian collection. 
Placed in the Mint Cabinet in the year of issue.

2. PCGS PR-64.  Eliasberg/Bass.  A.H. Baldwin - Burdette G. Johnson - Wayte Raymond - Waldo Newcomer - Col. E.H.R. Green - F.C.C. Boyd - "J.F. Bell" - "Memorable" - B&R "Eliasberg" 1982:117, $82,500 - B&M "Bass" 05/2000:105, PCGS PR-64, $178,250

3. PCGS PR-60.  Bass.  Worldwide Coins, 1974 - B&M "Bass" 10/1999:335, $115,000

4. Mitchelson.  Impaired Proof.  Connecticut State Library.

5. PCGS PR-40.  B&M "Morgan & Leckar" 11/1998:2157, $74,000  Verify that this is not the next coin.

6. James A. Stack.  "Very Fine."  Stack's "Stack" 10/1994:865, $66,000

7. Cardinal Spellman.  Proof.  Waldo Newcomer - Col. E.H.R. Green - Charles M. Williams - "J.F. Bell" - Clifford T. Weihman - Cardinal Spellman - Archdiocese of New York.

8. Menjou.  Proof, friction in fields.  Adolphe Menjou - R.F. Schermerhorn - Robert Friedberg - H.P. Graves - Grant Pierce - Stack's "ANA" 1976:2787, $41,000

9. Wolfson.  Impaired Proof.  Stack's "Wolfson" 10/1962:114, $15,000 - Kosoff "Shuford" 05/1968:1731, $18,000 - AAA "Herstal" 02/1974:734A, $26,000

10. Sold by Jess Peters at the 1973 ANA

11. Dunham.  Very Fine, "field marks left of eighth star, before lower lip, between wing and base of D (per Breen).  Mehl "Dunham" 06/1941 - Rarcoa "Bell II" 04/1963.  This was stolen at the 12/1964 GENA convention.

12. Herdman.  VF+ (per Breen).  Bowers (purchased in 1958) - private collection - Arthur Lamborn (duplicate) - B&R "Herdman" 12/1977:6406, $17,500

13. Fairfield (Breen plate coin).  EF, rim nicks upper obv. (per Breen).  Stephen Baer - Arthur Lamborn (duplicate) - B&R "Fairfield" 10/1977:1481, $19,000 - Kreisberg "Windsor" 11/1981:254, $19,500

14. Hydemann.  "Very Good" (per Heritage's June Long Beach catalog description.

15. Robison.  VF+ (per Breen).  Merkin 2/1972 "Terrell' - Stack's "Robison" 2/1979:115, $13,000

16. 1973 ANA.  VF or better (per Breen).  1973 ANA:821, $26,000

17. Mehl 3/1940 - Kreisberg 6/1970.  Fine (per Breen).

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"The PCGS Population Report, April 2004" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

"United States Gold Coins: An Analysis of Auction Records" by David Akers