Estimated grade. Ex. Melish; Kosoff Sale (1956) Sold by David Akers Numismatics May '98 Price realized $7150
Doug Winter: The 1858-C is the most common Charlotte quarter eagle from the 1850s and among the more available quarter eagles for this mint, both overall and in higher grades. I am fairly certain that a small hoard of higher grade pieces entered the market sometime in the 1980s as relatively high grade 1858-C quarter eagles are more available today than they were one or two decades ago.
The 1858-C is one of the more available Charlotte quarter eagles. It is usually seen in EF and in the AU grades. AU55 to AU58 examples are moderately scarce but tend to be more available than most Charlotte quarter eagles in this range. In Uncirculated, the 1858-C is the second most available Charlotte quarter eagle. Most Uncirculated pieces grade MS60 to MS62 and examples that grade MS63 are extremely rare. None are currently known finer than MS63.
STRIKE: The 1858-C is much better struck than the two preceding issues from the Charlotte Mint. The obverse generally shows decent detail although there is often weakness on the curl above the ear. The curls below LIBE in LIBERTY are usually weak as well, but the radial lines in the stars and the top of the head tend to be sharp. On the reverse there is weakness seen on the letters and the denticles. If a collector is patient, he should be able to find an 1858-C quarter eagle that is reasonably well struck.
SURFACES: Most examples have deep, detracting marks on the surfaces. In addition, a number have areas of mint-made granularity. This is generally seen on the reverse above and below the eagle’s head as well as below the left wing of the eagle. I have seen as many as ten 1858-C quarter eagles that had long striations at the center of the obverse. These resemble adjustment marks and are clearly mint-made in origin.
LUSTER: This date tends to have better luster than almost any other Charlotte quarter eagle produced during the 1850s. Original, uncleaned examples have rich, frosty luster that is rivaled only by the 1847-C as the best seen on any Charlotte quarter eagle. This makes the 1858-C a popular coin with type collectors.
COLORATION: The natural coloration seen on this date is a medium to deep orange-gold hue. A smaller number have a medium to deep greenish-gold shade. At one time it was relatively easy to find examples of this date natural color but many have been dipped and now displayed bright, unnatural hues.
EYE APPEAL: The level of eye appeal for the 1858-C is above-average when compared to most quarter eagles from this mint. With some patience, the collector should be able to find an acceptable example with a good strike, nice luster and decent coloration.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: There are no significant die characteristics seen on this issue.
DIE VARIETIES: A single die variety is known.
Variety 1 (formerly Variety 18-J): The 1 in the date is equidistant from the bust and the denticles. The second 8 is much closer to the denticles. The reverse is the same as described for the 1856-C.David Akers (1975/88): As the auction records indicate, the 1858-C is very difficult to obtain in high grade. Out of the 4 total appearances in our auction survey, 32 were of specimens grading EF or less. Not as rare as the 1856-C in high grade, but similarly unappreciated. Most known specimens are weakly struck on the head of Liberty and on the eagle.
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