Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $2.50 (1840-1907)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 15,200
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 4.1800g
AGW: 0.1209oz
Melt Value: $177.28 (12/11/2019)
Diameter: 18mm
Edge: Reeded
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1859 S $2.5 MS obverse 1859 S $2.5 MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

In November 1858, the Philadelphia Mint shipped six quarter eagle obverse dies to its branch mint in San Francisco. These were combined with leftover reverse dies from 1856 to produce the 15,200 1859-S quarter eagles. Like most S-mint issues of the era, the majority of these pieces entered circulation and suffered a catastrophic attrition rate. If the story ended there, the '59-S quarter eagle would simply take its place as yet another early western gold coin that is inconspicuous by its rarity. Modern numismatists, however, have attached importance and charm to all S-mint issues of 1859. There is little doubt that this added fame stems, in part, from the 1859-S Seated dollar issue. The first of its kind struck at the west coast facility, this issue opened an era of close trade relations with the Orient that would increase in intensity over the next several decades. While the silver dollar is an important and respected coin in its own right, we feel that it has limited, not enhanced, the respect due its quarter eagle counterpart.

Knowledgeable gold collectors realize that this issue is one of the most underrated in the entire gold series.

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: 8/22/2019

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

1859 S $2.5 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 400 450 500 955 1450 1900 2150 2500 3000 5000 6000 11000 - - - - - - - -
$ - - - - 4000 - - - - - - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 101
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 65

The chart showing G series, VG series, F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 12/10/2019 1859 S $2.5 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-2328813672023-53--1-----101
-----------------------
----------2-----------2
-----------------------
Total-2328813672025-53--1-----103
 -2 %3 %2 %8 %8 %13 %6 %7 %19 %24 %-5 %3 %--1 %----- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/20/2005 NGC MS 61   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 2162 $5,750.00
10/4/2007 NGC AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 183, 189/Lot# 6821 $2,530.00
11/3/2010 NGC AU 58   Stack's Bowers The November 2010 Baltimore Auction, 44/Lot# 4880 $2,309.20
1/5/2011 PCGS VG 10   Heritage Auctions 2011 January Tampa FUN Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(7), 1151/Lot# 12375 $488.75
10/13/2011 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2011 October 13-16 US Coins Signature Auction #1160- Pittsburgh Session(3), 1160/Lot# 4707 $7,475.00
8/20/2012 PCGS AU 50   Teletrade Auction 3332, 3332/Lot# 2323 $110.00
10/6/2013 PCGS VF 30   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/06/2013, 95/Lot# 142539 $594.00
3/27/2016 NGC VG 8   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131614/Lot# 21209 $493.50
1/4/2017 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2017 January 4 - 9 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Session(6), 1251/Lot# 6606 $1,762.50


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1859 S $2.5 MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base597646695925121718952257256132943679416644474646533865746942732577238137856890159479
6136627711022144320152358280534223841425945134876575066967069745778618280871791690
0000002358280534223841425945134876575066967069745778618280871700
0000002459304935504003435345795107616268197197759079998424886600
1859 S $2.5 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base949106611381252142118862215252527542936326039024246499267877910120491718624920367043800939348
98810901176130815761996231826012815304434744017449555907161929013761197642884837139384550
00000023182601281530443474401744955590716192901376119764288483713900
000000242226782875315236884131474361897536106691547422342327763757400
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 55
Points: 2936
Owner: Desert Gold
 
Grade: AU 55
Points: 2936
Owner: GregLach
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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