Estimated grade. Ex. Melish; Kosoff Sale (1956) Sold by David Akers Numismatics May '98 Price realized $4125
David Akers (1975/88): Most known specimens have indistinct or missing denticles. Always softly struck on the eagle's legs and arrow feathers. This date is difficult to obtain above EF and the only uncirculated one that I can recall seeing was the Scanlon coin.Doug Winter: The 1850-D is the most available Dahlonega quarter eagle struck during the 1850’s. It is still much scarcer than the comparably common issues from the 1840’s such as the 1845-D, 1846-D, and the 1847-D.
The 1850-D quarter eagle is most often seen in Very Fine and Extremely Fine grades. It is scarce in About Uncirculated and nearly every piece in this grade range is no better than About Uncirculated-50. It is very rare in accurately graded About Uncirculated-55 and About Uncirculated-58’s are extremely rare. No more than two Mint State 1850-D quarter eagles are currently known to exist.
STRIKE: The 1850-D quarter eagle is usually not very well struck. The typical example has an obverse which is more sharply impressed than the reverse. On the obverse, the center shows weakness on the brow of Liberty and the curls near the eye, the curls on the neck and, sometimes, on the bun. Some of the stars are sharp while others (usually those at the top) are flat at the centers. The border is weakly struck with most of the denticles either very weak or indistinct. The reverse center is weak on the eagle’s right leg, the arrow feathers and the top portion of the shield. The denticles are weak at the top and the bottom and may be only partially visible at the sides.
SURFACES: This date is typically found with average quality surfaces. The 1850-D does not come with obtrusive marks as frequently as the 1849-D does. Many show signs of having been cleaned.
LUSTER: The quality of luster is below average. It is not common for an example to show luster and those which do have a grainy, subdued texture.
COLORATION: Original, uncleaned pieces have been seen with coloration which ranges from orange-gold to deep green-gold. There are not more than a handful left with totally original color.
EYE APPEAL: There are very few legitimately attractive examples of this date available to collectors. An 1850-D quarter eagle which is well struck, lustrous and minimally abraded trades for a substantial premium over a typical piece.
PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: The finest known example of this date, a PCGS Mint State-62, has an interesting story. The coin was in the personal collection of Jack Hancock. Jack, who passed away a few years ago, was a dear friend of mine and a true connoisseur of fine, original Dahlonega gold coinage. He bought this coin from George Elliot, another deceased Georgia connoisseur, who is remembered both as a great collector and the father of the famed NASCAR driver Bill Elliott. After Jack died, this 1850-D was passed on to his two sons and, hopefully, it will remain a cherished remembrance of a truly good person in the rare coin business.
DIE VARIETIES: Only one die variety is known.
Variety 13-M: On the obverse, the 1 in the date is joined to the bust and the base of this numeral is not close to the denticles. The 0 is equally spaced between the bust and the denticles. The reverse is the same as that described above for the 1847-D Variety 9-M. However, beginning in 1850, a series of shallow die scratches appear between the vertical stripes in the shield. These scratches run in an upward direction from left to right. They can be seen on all quarter eagles struck at the Dahlonega Mint from 1850 through 1859.