1848 $2.50 Liberty CAL. on reverse PCGS VF30. This is a highly-coveted and collectible quarter eagle variety by several sectors of the marketplace. Those students of U.S. gold, the Quarter Eagle series, gold commemoratives and pioneer gold are all interested in knowing about the availability of this issue. Lately we’ve only seen NGC graded examples hit the market while three PCGS VF examples (this is one of them) and a PCGS MS64. Except for the monumental PCGS XF45 we just placed at the Long Beach show, no PCGS XF to AU coins have been publicly made available since 2011.
The PCGS published price is $37,000. The present specimen was most recently auctioned by Heritage last April (2017) for $35,250. In that catalog, lot number 4206, they state…”Colonel R.B. Mason, military governor of California, sent a small quantity (about 230 ounces) of newly mined California gold to Secretary of War, William L. Marcy, in 1848. That gold was turned over to the Philadelphia Mint, and the precious yellow metal was converted into 1,389 quarter eagles, each with the special CAL. counterstamp at the top of the reverse, over the eagle’s head. Several examples were preserved in high grade, while others, such as the present piece, entered circulation. This pleasing light yellow example shows modest wear with trivial handling marks. The overall eye appeal is excellent and the CAL. counterstamp is bold. Many numismatic scholars consider this special issue to be America’s first commemorative coin.