Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Quarters (1838-1891)
Mint: New Orleans
Mintage: 68,000
Catalog: KM-A98
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 6.2500g
ASW: 0.1808oz
Melt Value: $3.55 (4/16/2014)
Diameter: 24.3mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1891 O 25C MS obverse 1891 O 25C MS reverse


  
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There are no varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The special nature of this coin has been recognized since at least 1941 when it appeared in Mehl's Dunham Sale. It has passed from one specialist to another since then, always remaining in strong hands and rarely offered to the numismatic market. The obvious reason for striking this piece, as well as the other known branch mint proof, was 'resumption of coinage of this denomination at New Orleans (interrupted 1860),' as stated in Breen (1977).

It is always interesting to compare and contrast branch mint proofs with those produced in Philadelphia. It appears that employees in the branch mints were not familiar with the day-to-day striking of proofs. Rather, when called upon to strike such coins, they produced pieces that they thought resembled the proofs that were regularly turned out of the mother mint in Philadelphia. And in most cases, they did an admirable job of emulating Philadelphia proofs.

It is interesting to note the differences between this New Orleans specimen and a proof from Philadelphia. Most obvious are the striking details. Some of the feather details on the eagle and the star radials lack complete high point definition. Some P-mint proofs, especially from the 1880s, also lack full detailing and this is not an absolute necessity for proof status. On this coin it appears it was only struck once. Perhaps New Orleans personnel were not familiar with the tradition of double striking proofs? It is also interesting to note that a scribe line is clearly evident just outside the denticles on each side. Indeed, die polishing goes up to the line on the obverse but not beyond. On the reverse much of the line is still evident and it has only been polished away between 1 and 3 o'clock. On Philadelphia proofs, part of the scribe line can still be seen on some issues, but die polishing was generally done carefully enough to either show the curve of each denticle or many times the individual denticles are fully outlined all the way to the rim. These are slight differences in the nature of branch mint proofs and Philadelphia proofs, and these differences can easily be explained by the quantities of proofs or specimens produced in each mint--one need not be quite as careful about the fine points if only two pieces are to be produced vs. the hundreds of pieces struck across all denominations in the Philadelphia facility. But the texture of this coin gives clear indication of the intent to produce a special coin most likely for presentation purposes.

The roster is brief for 1891-O specimen quarters as only two are known:

1. William Forrester Dunham (B. Max Mehl FPL, 6/1941), Gene Edwards, 1980 ANA Sale (Steve Ivy, 8/1980), lot 2024, Jascha Heifetz Collection (Superior, 10/1989), lot 3652, Silbermnzen Collection (Heritage, 5/2008, lot 334).

2. Private collection, ca. 1968, Ahwash Collection, current whereabouts unknown

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 11/25/2013

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1891 O 25C MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 225 450 750 1375 2600 2600 3500 3750 4000 4350 4750 5250 5750 9350 18000 28500 - - - - -
$ 2850 3800 4000 4400 4850 5250 5750 6250 10350 20000 30500 - - -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 36
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 68


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
8/13/1999 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 1999 ANA Signature Sale #208, 208/Lot# 6925 $12,650.00
9/15/2004 PCGS F 15   Teletrade Auction 1936, 1936/Lot# 1292 $352.00
7/31/2009 PCGS VF 25   Heritage Auctions 2009 August Los Angeles, CA US Coin Auction #1128, 1128/Lot# 7785 $1,322.50
6/1/2011 NGC VF 20   Heritage Auctions 2011 June Long Beach Signature US Coin Auction Session(1), 1156/Lot# 3486 $690.00
2/2/2012 PCGS VG 10   Heritage Auctions 2012 February 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(4), 1167/Lot# 8209 $690.00
11/29/2012 NGC Details G Details  Heritage Auctions 2012 November 29 - December 2 US Coin Signature Auction - Houston Session(4), 1177/Lot# 8755 $258.50
2/3/2014 NGC VF 35   Heritage Auctions 2014 February 3 - 5 US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 1202/Lot# 3613 $2,056.25


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1891 O 25C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base58465597411521321212422432355257427072893300934063683474859397361928613275192922847331696
607761103312081588216322802428261827692931314134984038514564138002106151528022352295470
0000002280242826182769293131413498403851456413800210615152802235200
0000002317250126622831297032733590439355426887864411945172862541200
1891 O 25C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base624701103412211397223323562472269928373029314935603845494561717631960813694198432920732491
649812109612791675227423942547274529013069328636554211535366578290109701574322964303010
0000002394254727452901306932863655421153536657829010970157432296400
0000002433262327912965310934233750457857627144894912332177932608500
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