David Akers (1975/88): One of the three most common dates of this type, the other two being the 1802/1 and 1807. However, common by early quarter eagle standards is rare by any other standars, and probably no more than 75 to 100 1805 quarter eagles exist in all grades. The obverse stars are arranged 7 to the left and 6 to the right as they were in 1797. The 5 in the date is very small in proportion to the other three numerals. Most specimens that I have seen are proof-like or partially so, and adjustment marks are commonplace, as they are on most early U.S. gold coins. The number of auction records for uncirculated pieces is a bit surprising since I have found the 1805 to be just as rare in Unc. as the 1802/1 or 1804 and certainly more rare than the 1807.
The 1805 Quarter Eagle has turned out to be just a trifle more scarce than David Akers anticipated. The PCGS Population Report shows the 1805 as the fourth most common datre of the type, after 1802, 1804, and 1807. If all the major varieties are added together, then the 1798 becomes more common than the 1805. In Mint State, the 1805 is one of the rarest DATES in the series and it is also one of the most difficult to find in high grade.
Fortunately for die variety collectors, there is only one variety for the year.
The finest 1805 Quarter Eagle known today is the PCGS MS64+ from the D. Brent Pogue Collection (see the PCGS Coinfacts Condition Census listed above).
Catherine Bullowa’s Personal Collection - Coinhunter 12/2005:397, $253,000 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 5/2015:1123, $381,875
Baldwin’s 1/2008:921 - Eric Streiner, sold privately - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 5/2015:1124, $129,250