1856-S $2.50 Liberty Quarter Eagle, Ex. S.S. Central America. PCGS graded MS-67. CAC Approved. Housed in the Gold Foil special holder by PCGS. Wonderful rich golden toning on both sides. A near perfect coin and far and away finer than any others known of this date and mint. This one came from the famous S.S. Central America shipwreck and was clearly picked up at the mint, went for an ocean voyage that extended well beyond the planned time, then recovered. Here it is today in all its splendor. This is a moderately scarce date and a prized early San Francisco quarter eagle. Perhaps 175 are known today with no more than a couple of dozen of these in mint state. This sparkling jewel is destined to be the centerpiece of any advanced collection, crossing varied interests of Gold Rush era, quarter eagles, finest knowns, San Francisco and no doubt others! Simply put there are countless reasons to buy this spectacular coin.
Remember that the S.S. Central America sunk in September of 1857, so this quarter eagle had to have “been around” for nearly a year after being struck. Collecting by date was not generally common at that point, and the passengers on that doomed ship were mostly well to do prospectors that were coming back east. One has to suspect that the person that possessed this coin in 1857 had probably had it for some time, but saved it. The treasure already recovered from this shipwreck represents one of the most historic finds from right at the peak of the Gold Rush in 1857, with artificates that clearly detail many aspects that had otherwise been lost. This radiant quarter eagle is simply an amazing find. Population 1; none finer at PCGS. The Finest graded by far. 2 graded in MS-65 at PCGS. Spectacular, full mint bloom.
Ex. Christie’s December 2000, the Gold Rush S.S. Central America sale, lot 19, where it realized $46,000 seventeen years ago. This was one of the first auctions of the coins brought up by the salvage company.