Estimated grade. Ex. Melish; Kosoff Sale (1956) Sold by David Akers Numismatics May '98 Price realized $30800
David Akers (1975/88): As a date, the 1844-D is the second most common D mint quarter eagle after the 1843-D. It is the most common in uncirculated condition and a small number of relatively choice examples exist.Doug Winter: The 1844-D is among the more common Dahlonega quarter eagles, both in terms of the total number known to exist and in high grades (i.e., About Uncirculated and Mint State).
The 1844-D quarter eagle is most often seen in Extremely Fine grades. It is only moderately scarce in the lower About Uncirculated grades but it becomes rare in About Uncirculated-55 and better. It is very rare in Mint State, as are all Dahlonega quarter eagles.
STRIKE: This date is found with extreme variations of strike. Most are very weakly struck at the center of the obverse. The hair below LIBERTY and at the ear is very faint and may not even be visible on certain pieces. The border is much sharper and examples which have what appear to be a sunken center are still fully detailed on the stars and milling. The reverse is often very weak on the lower part of the eagle’s neck, the shield, the right leg and the claws. Not all 1844-D quarter eagles, however, are poorly struck. Approximately 15-20% are very well struck and show sharp details at the centers. These commonly sell for substantial premiums over their weakly struck counterparts.
SURFACES: 1844-D quarter eagles are invariably found with clashmarks. These can be seen on the obverse at the throat of Liberty and at the back of the neck. On the reverse, these clashmarks are at the beak and around the wings. There is often planchet roughness on the obverse from the final two stars through the date and out towards the first star. Many exhibit serious, detracting marks in the fields. The overall quality of the surfaces is below average.
LUSTER: This date shows very good luster with a thick, frosty texture. It can be seen even on higher grade coins which are poorly struck.
COLORATION: Uncleaned, original 1844-D quarter eagles have a wide range of coloration. Pieces exist which are bright yellow gold, light orange gold or dark coppery-orange. This is yet another issue that until recently could be found with original color but is now mostly seen with bright, unnatural hues as a result of cleaning or dipping.
EYE APPEAL: It is difficult to locate an 1844-D quarter eagle with good eye appeal due to the fact that so many are known with very poor strikes. There are some choice, pleasing pieces which are well struck but these are quite hard to locate.
PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: In many modern series, strike rarities (such as Full Split Band Mercury Dimes or Full Head Standing Liberty Quarters) are accorded tremendous premiums by collectors. Curiously, very sharply struck 1844-D quarter eagles, which are many times rarer than typical weakly struck pieces, currently sell for little premium. It would not surprise me if future generations of Dahlonega collectors become more sensitive to such issues and begin to accord significant premiums to full struck 1844-D quarter eagles.
DIE VARIETIES: Two die varieties are known.
Variety 5-H: Both varieties of the 1844-D quarter eagle share the same obverse. This die can be distinguished by a very large date. The 1 touches the bust and is close to the denticles while the second 4 is also close to the denticles. The reverse is the same as described for the 1843 Variety 4-H.
This is easily the most common variety of this year.
Variety 5-I: This reverse was used in 1844 and 1845. The shaft of the arrow ends over the left side of the opening in the mintmark. The fraction bar extends to the right side of the opening in the mintmark. There are no feathers which enter the opening in the mintmark. The mintmark itself is low and very close to the fraction bar. Its lower serif is joined to the right side of the upright of the 1 in the fraction.
This is considerably rarer than the 1844 Variety 5-H. In fact, for every example seen of the 5-I, at least four are seen of 5-H.