Estimated grade. Ex. Kelly (1954) Sold by David Akers Numismatics May '98 Price realized $26400
David Akers (1975/88): More scarce as a date than the 1854-D, but there are more high grade examples of this around than there are of the 1854-D. Always very weakly struck at the denticles, but usually more sharply struck on the head of Liberty and on the eagle than the 1855-C. From the standpoint of total number of appearances at auction in our 226 catalogue survey, the 1855-D is the rarest D Mint quarter eagle, barely nosing out the 1842-D and 1840-D. However, I have seen a few more of this date than of either of those two or of the 1856-D.Doug Winter: The 1855-D quarter eagle is the second rarest coin struck at the Dahlonega Mint. In most advanced collections, it is among the final pieces to be purchased due to the extreme difficulty of locating a nice example.
The 1855-D is the second rarest Dahlonega quarter eagle in terms of the total number of pieces which exist. When available, it is most often seen in Very Fine and a nice Extremely Fine is very rare. It is doubtful if more than a dozen About Uncirculated 1855-D quarter eagles are known and this date is currently unique in Mint State.
STRIKE: The 1855-D is one of the more poorly struck Dahlonega quarter eagles. As with most of the issues from this era, it is much sharper at the centers than at the border. At the obverse center, the detail is relatively bold with the exception of the curl above the ear and the hair in back of the ear. The stars are sharp and well-formed with many having complete radial line detail. The denticles are very weak with few of the individual segments being planning recognizable. The reverse shows good definition at the center with the exception of the eagle’s right leg, the left claw and the top part of the shield. The denticles are very weak and, as on the obverse, only a few individual segments can be seen.
SURFACES: Most examples have below average surfaces. The few 1855-D quarter eagles that exist appear to have stayed in circulation for many years and were not carefully handled. As a result, it is common to see pieces with very heavily marked surfaces. A number are known which show mint-made planchet faults such as laminations. There are two small raised die lumps on the reverse above the middle olive leaves which can be seen on all genuine 1855-D quarter eagles.
LUSTER: With the average grade for this date probably no higher than Very Fine-30 to Very Fine-35, most 1855-D quarter eagles show no mint luster. On the few known higher grade coins, the luster is not very good.
COLORATION: Original, uncleaned 1855-D quarter eagles are mostly seen with medium to deep green-gold coloration. Some show coppery-orange shadings. I have not seen more than four or five that had fully original color.
EYE APPEAL: This is a very hard coin to find with good eye appeal. Most are not well struck and at least three-quarters of the pieces which survive have been cleaned at one time. Any 1855-D quarter eagle with even average quality eye appeal is very rare.
PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: The only Dahlonega issue that is rare than the 1855-D is the 1856-D quarter eagle. These two dates are very similar in rarity in lower grades, but the 1855-D is slightly more available in the About Uncirculated-53 to About Uncirculated-55 range.
DIE VARIETIES: There is only one die variety known.
Variety 18-M: On the obverse, the top of the 1 in the date is not very close to the bust while the left base of this digit nearly touches the denticles. The base of the 5 is not close to the denticles. The reverse is the same as described for the 1847-D Variety 9-M with the addition of a die break which connects the lower right side of the O in OF to the left base of the F in OF.
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