SANTA ANA, CA.- Stacks Bowers Galleries
, the numismatic auction powerhouse, sold an extremely rare 1823/2 Capped Bust quarter worth $100,000 at its June 2020 Santa Ana auction.
Few American rarities have been so carefully documented and studied for provenance as the 1823/2 Capped Bust quarters. In fact, it is posited that the four rarest U.S. silver coins are the 1802 half dime, the quarters of 1823 (all of which are 1823/2) and 1827, and the 1804 dollar, helping to contextualize the truly elusive nature of this issue.
The reason for the 1823/2 date is because the mint used an 1822 die and simply superimposed a 3 over the 2 in the fourth position. If you look closely, you can still see the 2 beneath the 3.
While the Smithsonian and the Durham Western Heritage Museum in Omaha both own well-worn specimens, this particular example is believed to be the fourth finest example of all 1823/2 Capped Bust quarters of the surviving 30 or so examples. More than half of the known survivors are in grades below Very Fine, most quite worn, a few damaged, even one famously repaired to remove graffiti.
To think that one of the U.S. mints would just layer a number on top of another is incredulous by todays standards, stated Stacks Bowers President Brian Kendrella. But thats what gives this quarter its character and sets it apart from other years. It also part of why its so valuable and sought after.
Last sold in May 1935, the 1823/2 Capped Bust quarter has been in in private hands ever since.