The NGC Universal ID is a four digit alphanumeric that groups coins based on a unique combination of date, mintmark, denomination and striking process (MS, PF, or SP). These IDs are a simple organization of all coins prior to variety attribution and grading.
There exist three known die combinations for the quarter eagles of 1802, and all share a common obverse die that is routinely called an overdate. However, its status as an overdated die is highly questionable. As John Dannreuther notes in Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties: 'The fact that there were no quarter eagles dated 1799, 1800, or 1801 should lend credence to the overdate status of the 1802, but most researchers have come to the conclusion that whatever is under the 2 is not the vestiges of a 1.' Dannreuther continues: 'Some have suggested the calling of this quarter eagle an overdate is due to the obvious 1802/1 half eagle--an analogy easily seen. A defective 2 punch or break is now considered the likely culprit for the '1' below the 2 in the date.'
Although all quarter eagles from 1796 (With Stars) through 1807 are considered a single design type, Draped Bust With Stars, with the Heraldic Eagle reverse, there are actually six different subtypes, highly unusual with only 13 known die marriages for this series. The subtypes include: the 1804 14 Stars reverse, 1796 with eight obverse stars on each side, 1797 with obverse stars arranged seven by six and with 16 reverse stars, 1798 with obverse stars arranged six by seven, 1802, 1804, and 1806/4, all with obverse stars arranged eight by five, and 1805, 1806/5, and 1807, all with seven by six obverse stars.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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