Estimated grade. Ex. Kosoff (1956) Sold by David Akers Numismatics May '98 Price realized $28600
David Akers (1975/88): In my opinion, the 1854-D is a bit overrated as a date, but it is anything but overrated in high grade. Like the other D Mint quarter eagles of this period, the 1854-D is always weakly struck at the denticles. The eagle's right leg (being opposite the high points of the head of Liberty) is always flat, as it is for virtually every early Liberty Head quarter eagle.Doug Winter: Due to its very low mintage figure, the rarity of the 1854-D quarter eagle has been somewhat overstated in the past. It is more available in lower grades than is generally believed but it is extremely rare in higher grades.
The 1854-D quarter eagle is rare in all grades. It is most often seen in Very Fine and nice Extremely Fine examples are very rare. Accurately graded About Uncirculated pieces are very rare and most in this grade range are no better than About Uncirculated-50. Any 1854-D quarter eagle which grades higher than About Uncirculated-50 is extremely rare and only five or six Mint State coins currently exist.
STRIKE: The 1854-D quarter eagle is always seen with a below average strike. The sharpest area on the obverse is the center. There is often weakness on the curls below LIBER but the overall hair detail is quite bold. The stars are weakly struck and flat with just a few showing any radial line definition. The border has a very flat and mushy appearance but the denticles are mostly visible with the exception of the 10:00-1:00 area. The reverse is not as sharp as the obverse. The eagle is weak on the neck feathers, the right leg and the claws. The shield is often weak as well. The denticles are weaker than on the obverse and the area from 5:00 to 12:00 is especially weak.
SURFACES: Many have decidedly below average surfaces. This is a result of heavy concentrations of abrasions in the fields and mint-made defects such as laminations and roughness. On the obverse, there are raised die lumps and scratches below and to the left of the date. Other die scratches can be seen extending from the denticles out towards the upper point of the third star, at the inside of the fourth star, to the left of the ninth star, over the tenth star and inside the twelfth star.
LUSTER: There are very few examples which show any luster. The few high grade pieces which do retain their original surfaces show dull, inferior luster with an unappealing grainy texture.
COLORATION: Most high grade, uncleaned 1854-D quarter eagles possess a deep green-gold coloration. A few show a light to medium coppery-orange overtone. There are not more than a handful of surviving pieces that have rich original coloration.
EYE APPEAL: This is one of the hardest Dahlonega quarter eagles to find with any degree of eye appeal. Most are softly struck, heavily abraded and dull. A coin with truly good eye appeal is extremely rare and it would be very eagerly sought by specialists.
PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: The finest known 1854-D quarter eagle is in the Duke’s Creek collection. This coin was discovered by dealer Winthrop Carner in 1996 at a small show in northern Georgia. It was previously unknown to collectors and literally came out of nowhere. This is another example of the exciting discoveries that await Dahlonega gold collectors.
DIE VARIETIES: Only one die variety is known.
Variety 17-M: On the obverse, the top of the 1 is joined to the bust while the left base of this numeral does not touch the denticles. The right bottom of the 4 is close to the denticles. The reverse is the same as described for 1847 Variety 9-M. Beginning in 1854, the reverse die shows a crack between the lower right side of the O to the left base of the F in OF. This break is visible on all coins struck from this reverse from 1854 through 1859.
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