Estimated grade. Ex. Coin Galleries Sale (1956) Sold by David Akers Numismatics May '98 Price realized $990
David Akers (1975/88): As the much higher mintage indicates, the 1852-O is substantially more common as a date than the 1852-C or the 1852-D. However, choice condition specimens are very nearly as rare, even though most standard pricing guides value the 1852-O in Unc. at a level just slightly more than a common date. Do not be misled by such catalogue listings, however, because the 1852-O is anything but common in uncirculated condition. Generally seen more sharply struck than the 1852-C or 1852-D, but of course, the New Orleans Mint usually did make higher quality coins than its southern counterparts in Georgia and North Carolina.Doug Winter: The 1852-O has a mintage figure that is similar to the 1851-O quarter eagle. These dates are close in overall rarity but the 1852-O is slightly less rare in high grades.
Many 1852-O quarter eagles are seen in Very Fine to Extremely Fine grades. It becomes scarce in the lower AU grades and is very scarce in the properly graded AU58. There are fewer than a dozen known in Uncirculated, with most of these in the MS60 to MS62 range.
STRIKE: The 1852-O is a better struck issue than the 1846-O, 1847-O, or 1850-O. With some patience, the collector should be able to locate an example that is relatively sharp. The obverse usually shows better detail than the reverse. The obverse border is generally well detailed with sharp stars and denticles, while the center is likely to show weakness on the curl below the ear of Liberty and on the coronet. The letters BER in LIBERTY are sometimes very flat and there may be weakness on the curl behind the ear. The reverse is usually weak on the neck feathers and the right leg of the eagle.
SURFACES: The surfaces nearly always have deep, detracting abrasions. This is probably the hardest issue in the 1846-O to 1852-O New Orleans quarter eagle date run to find without severe marks. Any example that is clean and wholesome is very scarce and worth a premium over a typical example.
LUSTER: The luster seen on the 1852-O is better than on the 1847-O and the 1851-O and comparable to the 1850-O. The texture is frosty with a slightly satiny look.
COLORATION: The natural coloration ranges from light orange to a deep orange-gold hue. It is very different in appearance than on the preceding issues from the mint which tend to be a more green-gold in hue.
EYE APPEAL: The eye appeal for the average 1852-O quarter eagle is below average. Many are not well struck and nearly all seen have numerous marks on the surfaces. It is very hard to find pieces that have original coloration and most have been cleaned or dipped at one time.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: There are no readily identifiable die characteristics seen on the 1852-O quarter eagle.
DIE VARIETIES: There are two varieties known:
Variety One: The date is placed fairly high and slants downwards to the right. The 1 is close to the neck while the 2 is distant. The mintmark is impressed normally. The tip of the fraction bar is aligned with the middle of the mintmark and the arrow feathers pierce it at the left top.
This is the scarcer of the two varieties.
Variety Two: The obverse is the same as on Variety One. The mintmark is very heavily impressed and it appears to have been entered by hand in New Orleans. It is positioned slightly to the right of the end of the fraction bar. The arrow feathers do not enter the mintmark.
Despite claims to the contrary, this variety is not rare and is actually seen more often than Variety One.