||1866-S 25C MS63 NGC. The 1866-S With Motto Seated quarters were the first circulation strikes (along with the 1866 Philadelphia) struck after the Civil War ended in 1865, yet both mintages were meager: 28,000 pieces for the 1866-S, 16,800 for the 1866. The coin-hungry domestic economy rapidly consumed both issues; today, the average certified 1866-S is a VF30 coin. During the California Gold Rush, and the years afterward, the San Francisco Mint coinage was quickly distributed in commerce and remained in circulation for several decades. The lack of coin collectors on the West Coast meant no one was actively preserving these issues, and they eventually wore down beyond recognition. The few Mint State pieces that are known today have survived as a matter of chance, perhaps hidden away in a chest or beneath the floor boards. This Select Mint State example is surpassed numerically by only two submissions at NGC and one at PCGS (10/13). Dappled silver, pinkish, and smoke-gray patina covers each side, while ample luster percolates from underneath. The strike is quite bold overall, even if a few of the right-side star centers are imprecise. Less than a dozen 1866-S quarters survive in all Mint State grades from MS61 to MS66. We have handled finer graded coins only twice: an MS66 PCGS example that realized $97,750 in our Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 5/2008), lot 321, and an MS64 that traded in 1995. With this coin's scarcity, quality, and provenance, we expect the bidding to be fast and furious. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $18,800.00 . Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions, ha.com.