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1865-S Quarter Eagle
1865-S Quarter Eagle

1865-S Quarter Eagle - The final quarter eagle struck during the Civil War in San Francisco, far away from the battlefields, was the 1865-S. During the previous year, no quarter eagles were minted and this year the total mintage was very limited as well. A total of 23,376 quarter eagles were minted in the Bay City, of which the majority soon entered circulation. This is the case with all quarter eagles of this era from San Francisco, but overall the supply remains to be the most limited for this issue.

The large circulation of this issue has considerable thinned out the current supply of Mint State pieces. Both PCGS and NGC combined have graded a total of just 11 Mint State pieces, and this number is already heavily influenced by resubmissions. The total number of Mint State pieces will not be much more than 5, if that much at all. The majority of these are in low MS grades, with a single near gem piece graded by PCGS. This MS-64 came out of the Harry Bass collection and has not recently been offered at public auction. The last time it sold was at the sale of the Bass collection in November 2000, when it sold for $20,700.

It has been written in numismatic literature, that a group of 6 high grade pieces of this issue surfaced in the Far East in 1979. If this is true, the market quickly absorbed these pieces and the supply of even AU pieces remains to be very limited. Yet, not many collectors choose to collect the San Francisco issues as a specialty, and prices remain pretty much affordable. With the sesquicentennial of the Civil War rapidly approaching, one has to wonder what will happen with the popularity of these pieces. Although the Civil War was fought far away from San Francisco, all these events had an influence on the life of people all over the United States.

The majority, if not all, known pieces of this issue show weakness in the centers. This is the case with both the obverse and reverse. When grading higher grade pieces, it is often hard to distinguish these weak strikes with actual wear from circulation. The luster, which is often satiny and hidden under toning, should be a very important key when grading 1865-S quarter eagles. Lower grade AU coins will often only show minor luster in the protected area’s, but higher graded AU pieces should display almost full luster, including the fields.

In lower grades, this issue is often only available when searching the inventories of gold dealers. Numismatic auctions often consider pieces lower than Extremely Fine not worthy of being auctioned at public auction, even when they are a scarce or even rare issue such as the 1865-S. This is also another indication of the overall lack of demand for these pieces which has lowered prices in relation to other series. For the conscious collector and/or investor, opportunity is here. Some day, these pieces will attract a fair collector base which should move prices finally upwards to levels that indicate the true scarcity of these pieces.



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1865 Proof Quarter Eagle - Information about 1865 Proof Quarter Eagle

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