1854-S $2.50 (Regular Strike)

Series: Liberty Head $2 1/2 1840-1907

PCGS AU50

PCGS AU50

PCGS VF35

PCGS VF35

PCGS F12

PCGS F12

PCGS #:
7773
Designer:
Christian Gobrecht
Edge:
Reeded
Diameter:
18.00 millimeters
Weight:
4.18 grams
Mintage:
246
Mint:
San Francisco
Metal:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Major Varieties

Current Auctions - PCGS Graded
Current Auctions - NGC Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - PCGS Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades Survival
Estimate
Numismatic
Rarity
Relative Rarity
By Type
Relative Rarity
By Series
All Grades 11 R-9.5 1 / 147 TIE 1 / 147 TIE
60 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 147 1 / 147
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 147 1 / 147
Survival Estimate
All Grades 11
60 or Better
65 or Better
Numismatic Rarity
All Grades R-9.5
60 or Better R-10.1
65 or Better R-10.1
Relative Rarity By Type All Specs in this Type
All Grades 1 / 147 TIE
60 or Better 1 / 147
65 or Better 1 / 147
Relative Rarity By Series All Specs in this Series
All Grades 1 / 147 TIE
60 or Better 1 / 147
65 or Better 1 / 147

Condition Census What Is This?

Pos Grade Image Pedigree and History
1 AU50 PCGS grade

F.C.C. Boyd - Numismatic Gallery 1/1946:242 - Numismatic Gallery 3/1948:222 - New Netherlands 6/1958:837 - Harry W. Bass, Jr. - Bowers & Merena 10/1999:472, $135,700 - Superior 1/2004:792, $178,250

1 AU50 estimated grade
3 XF45 PCGS grade

Paramount “Auction '86” 7/1986:1867 - RARCOA 8/1991:937 - Heritage 7/2009:1224, $253,000 - D.L. Hansen Collection

3 XF45 estimated grade

Lee Family heirloom - American Numismatic Rarities 9/2005:1128 (as NGC EF45), $253,000

5 XF40 estimated grade
6 VF35 PCGS grade

Davis-Graves Collection - Stack's 4/1954:825 - Norweb Collection - Bowers & Merena 3/1988:2025 - Richmond Collection - David Lawrence 7/2004:1149 - Heritage 10/2011:4692, $253,000

7 VF35 PCGS grade

Paramount “Auction '86” 7/1986:1867 - RARCOA 8/1991:937 - Heritage 7/2009:1224, $253,000

8 F15 PCGS grade
8 F15 PCGS grade
10 F12 PCGS grade PCGS #7773 (MS)     12

Broadus R. Littlejohn Collection - Schuyler Ramsey Auctions 2/2012:345, $172,500

11 VG10 estimated grade

Ezra Cole Collection - Bowers & Merena 1/1986:2546 - Superior 10/1989:4037 - Superior 5/1990:5431 - Stack's 5/2006:2220 (as NGC F-12), $161,000

12 G6 PCGS grade

B. Max Mehl - H.O. Granberg Collection - Elmer Sears - John H. Clapp Collection - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Ruddy 10/1982:170, $7,150 - Bowers & Merena 5/1993:587 - Donald E. Bently Collection - Heritage 3/2014:30266, $193,875

#1 AU50 PCGS grade

F.C.C. Boyd - Numismatic Gallery 1/1946:242 - Numismatic Gallery 3/1948:222 - New Netherlands 6/1958:837 - Harry W. Bass, Jr. - Bowers & Merena 10/1999:472, $135,700 - Superior 1/2004:792, $178,250

#1 AU50 estimated grade
#3 XF45 PCGS grade

Paramount “Auction '86” 7/1986:1867 - RARCOA 8/1991:937 - Heritage 7/2009:1224, $253,000 - D.L. Hansen Collection

#3 XF45 estimated grade

Lee Family heirloom - American Numismatic Rarities 9/2005:1128 (as NGC EF45), $253,000

#5 XF40 estimated grade
#6 VF35 PCGS grade

Davis-Graves Collection - Stack's 4/1954:825 - Norweb Collection - Bowers & Merena 3/1988:2025 - Richmond Collection - David Lawrence 7/2004:1149 - Heritage 10/2011:4692, $253,000

#7 VF35 PCGS grade

Paramount “Auction '86” 7/1986:1867 - RARCOA 8/1991:937 - Heritage 7/2009:1224, $253,000

#8 F15 PCGS grade
#8 F15 PCGS grade
PCGS #7773 (MS)     12 #10 F12 PCGS grade

Broadus R. Littlejohn Collection - Schuyler Ramsey Auctions 2/2012:345, $172,500

#11 VG10 estimated grade

Ezra Cole Collection - Bowers & Merena 1/1986:2546 - Superior 10/1989:4037 - Superior 5/1990:5431 - Stack's 5/2006:2220 (as NGC F-12), $161,000

#12 G6 PCGS grade

B. Max Mehl - H.O. Granberg Collection - Elmer Sears - John H. Clapp Collection - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Ruddy 10/1982:170, $7,150 - Bowers & Merena 5/1993:587 - Donald E. Bently Collection - Heritage 3/2014:30266, $193,875

P. Scott Rubin: The 1854-S Quarter Eagle is one of the rarest of all U.S. regular issue coinage, with a reported mintage of only 346 coins. Not only was the mintage very small but it appears the coin was well-used at the time of issue since nearly all known specimens grade no better than Very Fine.

There is not a single specimen known today that would grade Mint State. In fact the finest graded by PCGS is an AU50 from the Harry Bass collection. It is interesting to note that the same Bass coin which is originally from the F.C.C. Boyd collection was only graded Very Fine the first three times it appeared at auction, in 1946, 1948 and again in 1958. The 1958 sale was New Netherlands Coin Company’s 51st Sale -- this firm was notorious for under grading at the time. A look at the plate from that sale shows a coin with all appearances of a grade higher than Very Fine.

The first appearance of an 1854-S Quarter Eagle seems to be Elder’s 1921 auction of the Lewis C. Gehring collection where a specimen graded About Fine sold as lot 488. The next auction sale of an 1854-S Quarter Eagle did not occur until 1940. It should be noted that the Gehring collection is one of the first to offer a serious collection of mintmarked gold. This coin seems to be overlooked in all census information available today of 1854-S Quarter Eagles.
David Akers (1975/88): The 1854-S is one of the rarest of all U.S. gold coins. Its low mintage of only 246 pieces is the third lowest of any regularly issued U.S. gold coin. (Only the 1875 eagle and half eagle have lower mintages.) All known specimens are very low grade, and I have not seen one that would fully grade extremely fine, although according to Stanley Kesselman, the one purchased by Harry Bass from Stack's comes very close. I would estimate that no more than 12 to 15 specimens are known.