Estimated grade. Ex. Melish; Kosoff Sale (1956) Sold by David Akers Numismatics May '98 Price realized $11000
David Akers (1975/88): Seldom avaiable in any condition and extremely rare better than EF. In fact, the 1844-C is tied with the 1842-O and 1847-O for ninth lowest average grade of any quarter eagle. I have not seen a fully mint state piece, although I have seen several choice AU ones. The C mintmark is large, as it is on the 1843-C Large Date and all subsequent years.Doug Winter: Due to a number of reasons, this date is typically found in lower grades than most other Charlotte quarter eagles. The extensive wear seen on most 1844-C quarter eagles is exacerbated by the fact this is among the more poorly struck Charlotte coins of any denomination.
The 1844-C is among the scarcer Charlotte quarter eagles. It is most often seen well worn with some survivors grading as low as Very Good to Fine. It is scarce in properly graded Extremely Fine and rare in About Uncirculated. There are an estimated four to six known in Uncirculated.
STRIKE: The 1844-C is among the worst struck quarter eagles from this mint. All are weakly struck although some are better defined than others. The obverse is very flat on the portrait. The curls are soft and much of the hair is so poorly detailed that it can be difficult to discern the individual strands. The stars at the left are extremely flat while the ones at the right tend to be sharper. The entire central reverse is extremely weak and it has a “sunken” appearance, which may be the result of a clogged die. Very little detail can be seen on the wings and the legs, but the denticles and the lettering are relatively sharp. Any example with an above-average amount of central detail is very scarce and considered very desirable by specialists.
SURFACES: There are few issues from the Charlotte Mint which are found with worse surfaces than the 1844-C quarter eagle. Most show a plethora of obtrusive nicks and scratches. In addition, a number have mint-made faults in the fields including small laminations and planchet chips.
LUSTER: The luster is actually better than might be expected from an issue that tends to be found with such a poor strike. Most are worn to the point that they show little luster but the handful of higher grade specimens which exist have frosty luster with a rich, velvety texture. I have seen a small number that were slightly reflective as well.
COLORATION: Original, uncleaned pieces most often have medium to deep yellow-gold and orange-gold coloration. A few have been seen with medium green-gold colors. There are very few left with original color as most have been dipped or processed.
EYE APPEAL: Nearly every known example of this date shows poor overall eye appeal. This is due to soft strikes, impaired luster and heavily marked surfaces. The collector who is very fussy will have a hard time finding an 1844-C quarter eagle that meets his specifications.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: There are no prominent die characteristics seen on this issue.
DIE VARIETIES: Only one die variety is known.
Variety 1 (formerly Variety 6-E): The 1 in the date touches the bust and is very close to the denticles. The second 4 is very close to the denticles and distant from the bust. The reverse was used only in 1844. The mintmark is larger and its serif is very close to the branch. The feathers extend through the mintmark at the upper right. The mintmark is centered of the top of the fraction bar. It is much closer to the fraction bar than to the talon and it is about the same distance from the talon and the 1.
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