This registry set contains only one coin a 1856-S Quarter Eagle that my paternal grandmother saved from the melting pot in 1933.
My grandmother was born in Bialystock Poland in 1896 and immigrated to this country as a teenager. She married my grandfather in 1916 and together they ran a small tailor shop. Over the years my grandparents put aside a small number of gold coins including this 1856-S Quarter Eagle.
In 1933 U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102 which required all persons to turn in their gold coins, gold bullion and gold certificates to the Federal Reserve. Violation of the order was punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or up to ten years in prison or both. http://www.the-privateer.com/1933-gold-confiscation.html
Although exceptions were made for gold jewelry, rare gold coins, and up to $100.00 in gold coins or bullion per person millions of dollars worth of common to scarce U.S. gold coins were melted down and sent to the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox.
My grandparents being good citizens turned in all but the allowed $100.00 in gold coins. One of the coins they saved from the melting pots was this 1856-S Quarter Eagle. The coin was given to me by my grandmother in 1965.
This is one of the favorite coins in my collection. As a family heirloom and gift from my grandmother this coin has an emotional value which makes it priceless.
In addition to being a family heirloom this specimen has a historical and numismatic significance which makes it a "really cool" coin.
As everyone knows the California Gold Rush of 1849 - 1855 was one of the defining events in American History. In order to coin the gold pouring out of the California gold fields the U.S. government established the San Francisco branch mint in 1854.
Quarter Eagle production commenced at the San Francisco mint with a paltry delivery of 246 pieces in 1854. The rarity of the 1854-S and the lack of an 1855-S Quarter Eagle combine to make the 1856-S the first collectible U.S. Quarter Eagle from the San Francisco mint.
Although collectible the 1856-S Quarter Eagle is a rough coin to find. The San Francisco mint produced only 71,120 Quarter Eagles in 1856 and the number of surviving specimens is far less. NGC has graded 189 specimens in all grades with the average grade being AU53. PCGS has graded only 48 specimens in all grades and estimates that this coin has a Numismatic Rarity of 7.2. This specimen is graded NGC AU55 and has an NGC population of 37 specimens with 69 specimens graded finer.
This specimen is boldly struck with only the slightest hint of wear and plenty of eye appeal. Read more...