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1861 Clark, Gruber & Co. Quarter Eagle

Image Information

Type Coin
Title 1861 Clark, Gruber & Co. Quarter Eagle
Date 1861
Grade MS61
Service NGC
Service Catalog # 10139
Denomination 2 1/2

1861 $2 1/2 Clark, Gruber & Co. Quarter Eagle MS61 NGC. K-5a, R.4. A recut star directly above the P in PIKES on the coronet distinguishes the Kagin-5a variant. The 1858 discovery of gold in Colorado presented the local prospectors, shop owners, and bankers with a situation analogous to the one that California faced a decade earlier. Although Colorado ore was among the purest in the world, there was still a need for local conversion of gold dust into coin form. Shipment to the mint in Philadelphia was a three-month round trip journey. Clark, Gruber & Co. filled this need, first as a banking institution and later as a local mint. Their coins were beyond reproach, and the U.S. government purchased the company in 1862 as the site for a future mint (eventually completed and opened for operation in 1906). Clark, Gruber gold coins were widely circulated, and today very few are extant in mint condition. NGC has certified only 11 others in MS61 with 14 pieces finer (8/17). This piece shows deep reddish-gold color with glowing mint luster. A few tiny marks appear on each side, none of singular note. The strike is usually soft on 1861 Clark, Gruber gold, but this piece shows remarkable strength of strike in the centers. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.

Heritage Newman IX, November 2017, lot 15120, realized $19800. Images and description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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Image Collection Eric P. Newman Collection, Part IX
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