Estimated grade. Ex. Melish; Kosoff Sale (1956) Sold by David Akers Numismatics May '98 Price realized $28600
Doug Winter: The 1849-C quarter eagle is an issue that was overlooked for many years. But today its rarity is better recognized. It is among the harder to find Charlotte quarter eagles and is especially rare in the higher About Uncirculated grades and above.
The 1849-C quarter eagle is scarce in all grades. Most are in the VF to EF range. This issue is rare in AU and most pieces in this range are no better than AU50 to AU53. It is very rare in properly graded AU55 to AU58 and extremely rare in Uncirculated with just four pieces currently known to me.
STRIKE: This date is generally found with a good strike. The obverse is well detailed with the exception of the curls below IBE in LIBERTY which can be weak. The stars are sharp as are the denticles on the obverse. The reverse is always seen with weakness on the eagle’s right leg and, less often, on the feathers around the shield. The border is sharp with bold lettering and full denticles.
SURFACES: There are not many examples that are not heavily abraded. These marks are typically dense and heavy and they are compounded by the fact that most 1849-C quarter eagles have been cleaned at one time or another. Any piece that is relatively free of marks and that has an original appearance is very rare and in strong demand among date collectors in this series.
LUSTER: The luster is usually subdued and below average. It has a texture that is somewhat grainy and this tends to affect the overall eye appeal. Because so many have been cleaned and any are found well worn, any 1849-C with good luster is very rare.
COLORATION: Original, uncleaned examples display a very distinctive medium to deep green-gold color. There are only a handful of pieces left that have not been cleaned, dipped or processed at one time or another.
EYE APPEAL: The 1849-C is among the most difficult Charlotte quarter eagles to locate with good eye appeal. The typical example is well worn and has numerous marks on its surface.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: Die rust is seen on the reverse above the olive leaves and below the claws and the arrows. There are several short horizontal die scratches running through the vertical stripes in the shield.
DIE VARIETIES: A single variety is known.
Variety 1 (formerly Variety 11-G): The 1 and the 9 are both a bit closer to the denticles than to the bust. The date is very small and it shows light repunching in the 49. The reverse was used in 1849, 1850 and 1851. The mintmark is large and it is located far to the left, filling the space between the talons and the feathers. The serif of the mintmark is close to the branch. The mintmark is joined to the talons and it is centered over the right edge of the upright of the 1 in the fraction. This reverse can quickly be identified by the presence of several short horizontal die scratches running through the vertical stripes in the shield.David Akers (1975/88): The 1849-C has a small date, as do all other quarter eagles of this year. This is one of the rarest C Mint quarter eagles, particularly in high grade. Most known specimens have a partial wire rim and are usually quite well struck. Substantially more rare than the comparable mintage 1849-D.
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