Estimated grade. Ex. French Sale (1959) Sold by David Akers Numismatics Oct '97 Price realized $3080
David Akers (1975/88): The data shows that the 1852-D is a very rare coin, almost in the class with the much lower mintage 1854-D. Most specimens that I have seen exhibit clash marks on the obverse and have the straight line of the nose broken at the forehead by a shiny area that is possibly the result of die lapping.Doug Winter: The 1852-D is rarer than the 1849-D, 1851-D and 1853-D gold dollars and it trails only the 1850-D and the 1854-D for consideration as the rarest Type One gold dollar from this mint.
The 1852-D gold dollar is scarce in all grades. It is most often seen in Extremely Fine-40 to About Uncirculated-55. It becomes quite rare in the highest circulated grades and very rare in any Mint State grade. A majority of the Uncirculated pieces which exist are not choice and this date remains unknown above Mint State-62.
STRIKE: The quality of strike varies greatly. It is possible to find an 1852-D gold dollar which is reasonably well struck, but most are weak in the centers as a result of heavily clashed dies. The stars are usually well defined and the hair shows surprisingly good detail in spite of the aforementioned clashmarks. The reverse is better struck than the obverse with a sharp wreath, full date and strong lettering. The rims are much sharper than on the previous issues from this mint with the milling fairly clear on both the obverse and the reverse.
SURFACES: Due to a number of distinct striking characteristics, the surfaces of most 1852-D gold dollars have a decidedly “busy” appearance. There are usually multiple clashmarks before the face of Liberty and the nose is always broken. This is the result of die lapping and is evidenced by a shiny area in front of the forehead. The obverse shows a number of raised die scratches which can be seen even on worn specimens. On the reverse there is always a die scratch from the base of the 1 in the value to the O in DOLLAR and a raised die line to the right of the second A in AMERICA. Many also show a crack through the first A in AMERICA.
LUSTER: The luster on the typical example is slightly above average. It is frosty with a somewhat grainy texture. On many, the clashmarks at the centers are strong enough to give the luster a somewhat impaired appearance.
COLORATION: The range of colors seen on original, uncleaned pieces includes deep orange and coppery-gold to medium green shades. There are not many remaining 1852-D gold dollars that have not been cleaned or dipped and such coins are worth a strong premium over the typical “washed-out” example.
EYE APPEAL: This date usually shows below average eye appeal, primarily due to the clashmarks described above. Unless a piece was among the first struck, it will have strong multiple clashmarks directly in front of the face of Liberty, a fact that many viewers will find detracting.
PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: The 1852-D has the most distinctive appearance of any Type One gold dollar from this mint. Because of its strong clashmarks, this is an issue that can be easily recognized solely from viewing the obverse.
DIE VARIETIES: Only one die variety is known. However, there are a number of distinct die states for this issue. The variety collector should be able to locate at least four or five of these.
Variety 4-F: Die lapping on the obverse causes the top of the nose to appear broken. Clashmarks are often seen on the obverse, especially in front of the nose. The stars are heavy. On the reverse, the date is heavy and even. The mintmark is large and placed closer to the left ribbon end than the right ribbon end. A die scratch is always seen past the second A in AMERICA.