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The proof quarter eagles of 1878 are even rarer than the mintage of 20 pieces would suggest. This date is the scarcest post-1859 quarter eagle as a proof. Akers speculates that perhaps some of the original sets were not sold and may have been melted. Breen gives a generous estimate of 12 pieces, of which at least 3 are impaired. Taglione could only account for 10 specimens, including 4 impaired ones.
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