Coin Specifications

Category: Early $2.50 (1796-1834)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 4,520
Catalog: KM-49
Obverse Designer: John Reich
Reverse Designer: John Reich
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9160
Weight: 4.3700g
AGW: 0.1287oz
Melt Value: $157.94 (9/18/2014)
Diameter: 18.2mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1831 $2.5 MS obverse 1831 $2.5 MS reverse

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There are no varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

Bass-Dannreuther and other modern scholarship note that there is only one die pairing for this date (although there is a rare die state with obvious clashing on both sides), which boasts an unsurprisingly small recorded mintage of 4,520 pieces. Such a mintage places this issue squarely in the ranks of a 'neither high nor low' emission for this generally oft-neglected series. Bass-Dannreuther assign a middling R.4 rarity rating as well, estimating that 110-125 pieces are known.

For much of their early history and well into the mid-19th century, gold quarter eagles were the Rodney Dangerfield of coins, 'getting no respect' from mint personnel who were much more intent on producing the three workhorse coins of the early Mint era: copper large cents, silver half dollars, and gold half eagles. Walter Breen, speaking of the early days of the quarter eagle series in his Complete Encyclopedia, writes that 'during this whole decade [1796-1807], quarter eagles were coined only in isolated driblets of a few hundred or at most a few thousand pieces. In most of these years, each date represented a new design modification--creating instant rarities and type coins. The problem is less why the coins are rare, why so few were made to begin with, but why any were struck at all! To judge from available Archives records, they were ordered on whim by a few local banks (principally the Bank of Pennsylvania and the Bank of the United States), to judge from the condition of survivors, they spent most of their time in vaults. Between 1803 and 1833, the Mint's major output consisted of cents, half dollars, and half eagles, all other denominations had a kind of poor-relative status--seldom called for, few made, little welcome.'

The reverse die of the 1831 quarter eagle began as a new die for the 1830 issue, also known through a single die pairing, and that reverse continued in use through the single-marriage 1832, 1833, and 1834 With Motto issues. There are 149 dentils on the reverse, as compared with 147 on the obverse. The U in UNITED is recut, the large 2 in the denomination has a curved base, and there is recutting on the right lower upright of the I in AMERICA.

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/13/2013

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1831 $2.5 MS
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Total Graded: 58
Low Grade: 40
Average Grade: 61
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
8/8/1998 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 1998 ANA Bullet Sale #189, 189/Lot# 875 $6,737.50
2/24/2003 PCGS AU 55   Goldberg February 24-25, 2003 Coin Auction, 17/Lot# 1904 $8,337.50
4/27/2011 NGC MS 65   Prooflike Heritage Auctions 2011 April Rosemont CSNS Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(3), 1154/Lot# 5326 $74,750.00
12/28/2011 NGC XF 45   Prooflike Teletrade Auction 3198, 3198/Lot# 2160 $488.75
3/20/2014 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2014 March 20 The Collection of Donald E. Bently - Bently Foundation US Coins Signature Auction - San Francisco Session(1), 1205/Lot# 30218 $16,450.00
8/6/2014 NGC AU 58   Stack's Bowers August 2014 Chicago ANA, 6014/Lot# 11026 $15,862.50
9/4/2014 NGC MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2014 September 4 - 6 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(1), 1209/Lot# 3345 $28,200.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1831 $2.5 MS
1831 $2.5 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery

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