Estimated grade. Ex. Melish; Kosoff Sale (1956) Sold by David Akers Numismatics May '98 Price realized $12100
David Akers (1975/88): This is the last quarter eagle from the Charlotte Mint. All known specimens are weakly struck, particularly on the eagle on the reverse. High grade pieces are extremely rare. Because of poor striking, grading an 1860-C quarter eagle is difficult and one must take into consideration such characteristics as the quality of the surfaces and mint lustre (rather than merely looking at the "high points" for wear) to determine the coin's actual grade. The 1860-C is a very rare date in any condition and I have seen only one strictly uncirculated piece and just three or four AU'sDoug Winter: The 1860-C is the last of the twenty quarter eagles struck at the Charlotte Mint.
The 1860-C quarter eagle is scarce in all grades. It is most often seen in Very Fine and Extremely Fine grades. Most of the coins that have been graded About Uncirculated...are not choice and would not grade higher than Extremely Fine by old standards. In the higher about Uncirculated grades, the 1860-C is quite rare. In full Mint State, this date is very rare with just a half dozen or so known.
STRIKE: The obverse is invariably better struck than the reverse. On the obverse the detail is relatively sharp with strong hair and nearly full radial lines within the stars. On some coins there may be a bit of weakness on the hair directly above and behind the ear of Liberty. The reverse is always weak on the eagle’s right leg and the claws. Some coins also show weakness around the shield and on the inner feathers. The border detail is sharp on the lettering and on the denticles.
SURFACES: Many 1860-C quarter eagles show mint-made roughness as described for the 1858-C. On the 1860-C, this roughness tends to be more extensive. Specific patches of roughness are visible from below the beak of the eagle to the top of the right wing, above and behind the eagle’s head and below the right wing. There is also a mint-made patch of roughness beneath the crook of the eagle’s left wing. In addition to these patches of roughness, there are often noticeable marks in the field. Locating an 1860-C with acceptable surface is extremely difficult and the few that exist with choice surfaces generally sell for a strong premium over the typical examples.
LUSTER: The 1860-C quarter eagles show luster that is satiny and slightly reflective in appearance. Its texture is more reminiscent of a Charlotte quarter eagle from the late 1840s than one from the 1860s.
COLORATION: Original, uncleaned examples display light yellow-gold or medium greenish-gold colors. I have seen a few original coins that were accentuated by nice medium to deep orange-gold toning. There are very few 1860-C quarter eagles remaining that have not been dipped or cleaned.
EYE APPEAL: This issue is extremely hard to locate with good overall eye appeal. This is due to the fact that many were struck on inferior quality planchets. The obverse is often much nicer than the reverse and this should be taken into consideration when grading any 1860-C quarter eagle.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: There are no prominent die characteristics seen on this issue.
DIE VARIETIES: A single die variety is known.
Variety 1 (formerly variety 19-J): The 1 in the date is equidistant from the bust and the denticles. The 0 is much closer to the denticles. The reverse is the same as described for the 1856-C and 1858-C.