|1881 25C PR68+ S Cameo NGC. CAC. The easy answer is the Morgan dollar, but the more complete and thorough answer to the question of what caused the low mintages of circulation strike Seated coinage -- especially quarters and half dollars -- during much of the 1880s, is parity. It is true that the Morgan dollar was struck by the many millions annually, the unwanted silver piling up relentlessly in Treasury vaults around the country, for the most part. But it is also true that the parity achieved in late 1879 between gold, silver, and paper currency, for the first time since the Civil War, meant that floods of previously hoarded silver flowed back into commerce from both domestic and international sources (especially Canada). The mintages of Seated quarters and halves were, in short, small during the 1880s because there was no need for them. The 1881 quarter issue is a case in point. There were 975 proofs struck, complementing the 12,000 coins produced for circulation. This Superb Gem proof 1881 from the Newman Collection is among three PR68 survivors of the issue, but the only one with the Plus and Star designations. The patination comprises amber-gold, lavender and light-blue hues on the obverse, with more silver but a similar palette on the reverse. A fully struck and completely engaging example of the issue, and a treat for numismatic eyes. Census: 3 in 68 (1 in 68 S, 1 in 68+ S), 0 finer (10/13). Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $44,062.50 . Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions, ha.com.