Estimated grade. Ex. New Netherlands Sale (1956) Sold by David Akers Numismatics May '98 Price realized $6600
Doug Winter: In 1852, mintage of Charlotte quarter eagles dropped below 10,000, where it would remain for the final five years in which this series was produced. Because there were no Charlotte quarter eagles struck in 1853, the 1852-C saw extensive circulation and, as a result, it is very rare in higher grades.
The 1852-C quarter eagle is scarce in all grades and the vast majority of surviving examples grade in the Very Fine to Extremely Fine range. This issue is quite rare in properly graded About Uncirculated and becomes very rare in AU55 and better. In Uncirculated the 1852-C is excessively rare with just two or three pieces known to exist.
STRIKE: The 1852-C quarter eagle is usually found with a weak strike at the center of the obverse.. The specific areas that show the greatest weakness include the ear of Liberty, the curl above the ear and the hair behind the ear. The border is better struck, with many of the stars showing some detail on the radial lines and strong definition on the denticles. The reverse is also found with weakness at the center. The bottom of the eagle’s neck shows little definition and the feathers around the shield are also weak. On a few coins, the horizontal lines in the shield are so weak that they are nearly invisible. The border is sharper with good definition on the denticles.
SURFACES: This is among the most difficult Charlotte quarter eagles to find with choice surfaces. Nearly all known examples are heavily abraded and many show hairlines as the result of having been cleaned at one time. There are usually light to medium clashmarks and mint-made roughness is seen around the portrait. Reverse clashmarks are also sometimes present above the olive leaves, below both wings and above the left wing.
LUSTER: Most have poor luster. This is partly due to the way that this date was produced but is more the result of numismatic abuse. On the few which have never been cleaned, the luster is soft and frosty in texture.
COLORATION: Original pieces show attractive deep green-gold coloration with strong orange-gold or coppery-gold overtones. It has been a number of years since I have seen a higher grade 1852-C that has not been dipped.
EYE APPEAL: This date is almost never seen with good eye appeal. Most are poorly struck and have been cleaned as well. An example with a good strike and original color and surfaces is very rare and should command a very strong premium compared to a typical example.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: The 18 in the date shows light repunching at their bases. The bottom of the 5 is very lightly repunched but this is only seen on early die states.
DIE VARIETIES: Only one die variety is known.
Variety 1 (formerly Variety 14-1): The 1 is equidistant between the bust and the denticles while the 2 is much closer to the denticles. The reverse was used in 1852, 1854 and 1855. The mintmark is large and its serif is embedded in the feathers. The mintmark extends up to the shaft of the arrow and the feather extends through to the center of the mintmark from the upper right. The mintmark is very close to the 1 and the fraction bar.David Akers (1975/88): Always seen weakly struck, particularly on the hair around Liberty's face and on the eagle on the reverse. Many specimens show a distinct wire rim. (Note: On many coins, a wire rim denotes a sharp strike. However, the wire rim that is seen on many C Mint coins is not the result of a strong strike but rather the result of improperly matched dies and collars.) The 1852-C is very scarce in all grades and is, in fact, very nearly as rare as the much lower mintage and more highly regarded 1852-D. In full mint state, it is actually more rare than the 1852-D.