Estimated grade. Ex. Donlon; Kosoff Sale (1956) Sold by David Akers Numismatics May '98 Price realized $605
David Akers (1975/88): Fairly common in VF but extremely rare uncirculated. In contrast to the 1847-C and 1847-D, most known specimens of the 1847-O are weakly struck. Very underrated in high grades; in fact, the 1847-O is the rarest 1847 dated quarter eagle in grades better than EF and it also has the ninth lowest average grade of any date in the entire series.Doug Winter: The 1847-O quarter eagle is less scarce than the 1846-O and the 1850-O. It has become more available in the past decade and it is now seen more in About Uncirculated than before, probably more as a result of relaxed grading standards than an influx of previously unknown coins.
The 1847-O is only moderately scarce in the lower circulated grades. It becomes scarce in the AU50 to AU55 range and is very scarce in properly graded AU58. Uncirculated pieces are rare and are generally seen in the MS60 to MS62 range. Any example grading MS63 or better is very rare.
STRIKE: This is among the most poorly struck New Orleans gold coins. The obverse is often very weak on the stars and the curls around Liberty’s face are quite flat on nearly all examples. The reverse is usually seen with weakness on the eagle’s neck, the wingtips and the right leg. There are 1847-O quarter eagles known that show a reasonably sharp strike. These do not seem to sell for a premium but in my opinion they should.
SURFACES: The surfaces are nearly always “busy” in appearance. This is due to a combination of factors: numerous abrasions, grainy texture, clashmarks and/or die cracks.
LUSTER: Unlike the 1846-O which often has good luster, most 1847-O quarter eagles are subdued and grainy. I have seen a few that were slightly prooflike. Any piece with above-average luster is very hard to find and is considered desirable by collectors.
COLORATION: The natural coloration ranges from green-gold to orange-gold. It has become hard to find examples that retain original color as most have been cleaned or dipped.
EYE APPEAL: As with all New Orleans quarter eagles, the 1847-O is a hard issue to find with good eye appeal. Many are poorly struck and there are not a lot of pieces with clean surfaces. High end, attractive examples are very scarce.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: Many 1847-O quarter eagles have raised die lines from 6:30 to 8:00 at the obverse rim with the heaviest clustered at the first star. Some have clashmarks at the center of the obverse and reverse.
MAJOR VARIETIES: There are at least three varieties known. It is very likely that others exist as this appears to be a fertile issue for varieties.
Variety One: Doubled 18 in date; the mintmark is sharply doubled at its base. The 1 in the date is not as high as on Variety 2. The mintmark is far to the right and the fraction bar is solidly joined to the base of the mintmark. The arrow feathers are joined to the top of the mintmark but do not enter it. Late die states show a bisecting horizontal crack which runs from the third star across the portrait to the eleventh star.
The most common variety. The latest die state with the fully bisecting crack is very scarce.
Variety Two: Doubled 18 in date; the mintmark is sharply doubled at its base. The 1 in the date is higher than on Variety 1. The 1 is strongly doubled at its left inner base and there is a patch of die lines to the left of this numeral that were probably placed there by the engraver to efface his mistake. The top of the fraction bar grazes the mintmark and the arrow feathers enter the top of the mintmark. There is slight doubling evident on some of the lettering on the reverse. Late die states show cracks through the value which range from light to heavy.
The scarcest of the three varieties.
Variety Three: Normal date and mintmark. Same reverse as Variety One.
For more information on 1847-O quarter eagle varieties, refer to Bass II, Bass III, and Bass IV catalogs which contain the most comprehensive group ever assembled.
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