Bounty of Rare NGC-certified US Coins in Stack's Sale

Posted on 8/3/2023

The August auction includes an NGC-certified 1848 CAL. Quarter Eagle and an 1879 Flowing Hair Stella.

A treasure trove of American history can be found among the many rare US coins certified by Numismatic Guaranty Company® (NGC®) being offered in an upcoming sale. Bidding is already underway for the Stack’s Bowers Global Showcase Auction - Session 6 - Rarities Night, which ends on August 16, 2023.

Among the top highlights is an 1848 Liberty Head “CAL.” Quarter Eagle graded NGC MS 68★ (lot 5103). In 1848, around 230 ounces of gold bullion from California was sent to Secretary of War William L. Marcy by the acting military governor of California. The bullion was used at the Mint to strike 1,389 Quarter Eagles, and to distinguish them, the letters CAL. were included above the eagle's head on the reverse field. This created what many regard as the nation's first commemorative issue. Due to the popularity of the California Gold Rush era among collectors, the 1848 CAL. Quarter Eagle is highly sought after on the rare occasions that it appears on the open market.

Click images to enlarge.

Also featured in this auction is an 1879 Flowing Hair Stella graded NGC PF 67★ Cameo (lot 5113). John A. Kasson, the US minister to Austro-Hungary and a former chairman of the Congressional Committee on Coinage, proposed a four-dollar gold coin that aligned closely with the widely accepted gold coins used in various European countries. Rep. Alexander H. Stephens supported the idea and requested the US Mint to prepare pattern four-dollar gold pieces for evaluation by Congress. The Mint struck several hundred Stellas dated 1879 and 1880, but the coin never gained authorization for regular production and remained a pattern coin.

Click images to enlarge.

Other NGC-certified coins in this Stack’s Bowers auction include:

  • a 1793 Wreath Lettered Cent graded NGC XF 45 BN (lot 5008)
  • a 1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar graded NGC XF 45 (lot 5047)
  • a 1795 Draped Bust Silver Dollar graded NGC AU 50 (lot 5055)
  • an 1820 Large Date Square 2 Half Dollar graded NGC MS 65 PL (lot 5032)
  • an 1838 Gobrecht Silver Dollar graded NGC PF 66★ (lot 5075)
  • an 1868 Seated Liberty Half Dollar graded NGC PF 67 (lot 5036)
  • an 1870-CC Liberty Head Half Eagle graded NGC F 12 (lot 5132)
  • an 1871 Silver Dollar Pattern graded NGC PF 65 RB (lot 5213)
  • an 1882 Liberty Head Nickel Pattern graded NGC PF 66+ Cameo (lot 5218)
  • a 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter graded NGC MS 64 FH (lot 5029)

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