Large Capped Bust Quarters Collection I have tentatively completed my large sized Capped Bust quarter date set! Many are aware that bust quarters tend to be less plentiful than their other bust-style counterparts, and I definitely got to experience that first hand over the past couple years. While these are all in the Good to Good+ range, for the most part they are pretty decent when you consider how coins of this type have been abused over the years. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of large capped bust quarters are either lower grade than my coins or damaged. It should also go without saying that I don’t have (and likely will never have) either the 1823/2 or the 1827/3/2, and at the moment I don’t have an 1824/2 (hence “tentatively complete”), but that may change in the future. That said, I did do my best to get respectable examples for the grade for each date, so I am overall very proud of the set. All mintages and rarity ratings are from Steve Tompkins’ book on the subject, which is discussed later. 1815 Browning-1, R.1, Mintage: 89,235. The very first bust quarter I ever bought is fittingly the first year of issue. The reason I even decided to get an 1815 in the first place is a fairly amusing story. When I was younger and less aware of the accuracy of price guides in coin magazines, I noticed that 1801 and 1802 half dollars had seemingly increased in price significantly in the guides over a couple years (in hindsight what actually happened is the guides caught up with reality). I thought it would be a lucrative idea to try to buy another early date coin with a relatively low mintage that seemed underpriced and hope for the price to go up after I bought it. I ended up finding the 1815 quarter in my price guide and decided that it would be a worthwhile candidate. The problem was that it wasn’t particularly easy to find one, and I only ever saw a worn example that was AG at best. A few years later I decided to try to acquire an 1815 quarter and ended up getting this one on eBay. It has a few scratches in the left obverse field, but I don’t really care all that much because it’s my first bust quarter. Image is mine. 1818/5 Browning-1, R.2, Mintage: 361,174. This is the most common year of large sized Capped Bust quarters by far. It has ten different die marriages, ranging from very common (R.1) to rare (R.5+). I currently have two 1818/5 quarters, both of which were cherrypicked from eBay. One of them is graded G4 by NGC, so I’m especially proud to say that I cherrypicked a coin in an NGC holder! (But do not hate on NGC too much, since I’ve seen several unattributed in PCGS holders as well.) You can’t easily see the 5 beneath the 8 on either of them, but the top of the 5 is fairly visible with a loupe. I was able to attribute them using a very obvious diagnostic on the reverse. I hate to give up what this diagnostic is because that takes the fun out of it, but there is a certain element on the reverse of the 1818/5 that is different from all the other 1818 die marriages. Image is mine. 1818 Browning-6, R.4, Mintage: 361,174. While 1818 is the most common date of the series, this die marriage is one of the less common. What really sets this one apart from the rest are the reverse die cracks. My example was very close to the end of the reverse die’s life, with four different cracks running from the rim to the center of the coin. This is one of the most destroyed reverse dies for this series; only the two 1825 varieties with reverse cuds come to mind as comparable varieties. Graded G4 by NGC and received a green CAC sticker (my first one!). Image is from GreatCollections. 1819 Browning-1 (Large 9), R.5-, Mintage: 144,000. This is my rarest die marriage, though I think it would be more appropriate to call it R.4. It’s a little weak around the date on the obverse, but it has a satisfying original dark gray color that I like. Graded G4 by PCGS. Image is mine. 1820 Browning-3 (Medium 0), R.3, Mintage: 127,444. At first this one appears to be a nice gray color, but if you shine light on it, you can see that it has very colorful toning around the rims. Usually when you think of a toned coin you think of a high mint state coin, not a low grade coin like this one! It probably spent many years in an album with high sulfur content. This is also the first coin I’ve purchase from GreatCollections; I highly recommend checking them out. Graded G6 by NGC. Image is from GreatCollections. 1821 Browning-3, R.2, Mintage: 216,851. Another nice dark gray quarter. Oddly enough, this coin’s certification number is right before that of my 1820 quarter- in fact, it was even auctioned by GreatCollections the same week as the 1820. When I got the 1820, I was sad that I couldn’t get the 1821 too due to my budget at the time. To my surprise, the same exact 1821 appeared on eBay about 10 months later! I didn’t want to let it get away from me twice, so I bought it and now it’s reunited with the 1820. Graded G6 by NGC. Images are mine. 1822 Browning-1, R.2, Mintage: 64,080. This one was the last coin I needed to complete the set. Out of the dates I have, 1822 is definitely the most difficult to come by. For some odd reason, you can find several coins in AG or lower, VG or higher, and G details (e.g.-not straight graded), but you just cannot find them in Good without any impairments. I almost purchased a PCGS G4 in June, but I dragged my feet too long and someone bought it right before I made up my mind to get it. Fortunately it did not take too long for another Good example to appear, and I ended up getting this PCGS G6 for less than what I would have gotten the G4 for had I purchased it in June. Image is from GreatCollections. 1825/4/2 Browning-3, R.3, Mintage: 168,000. In many price guides, 1825 quarters are often listed as three different overdates: 1825/2, 1825/3, and 1825/4. According to Tompkins’ book, however, all three are actually 1825/4/2 (and the so called 1825/3 and 1825/4 even share the same obverse die). There are some significant cuds seen on this date, with a cud developing at the arrows on Browning-2 and a cud developing at the word “United” on Browning-3. Both of these are fairly pricy, but I may get one someday. In the meantime I have this pleasing dark gray example, graded G4 by NGC. Images are mine. 1828 Browning-4, R.3, Mintage: 106,000. This one was a pain in the behind to locate in my target grade range. I suspect this is the case because most bust quarters probably stopped circulating once the weight of silver coinage was reduced in 1853. Most 1828 quarters probably didn’t get a chance to wear down to the Good to Good+ range. That’s just my theory though. Anyway, after months of waiting, this coin came along with everything going for it: a fair price, an eye appealing appearance, and a scarce variety. Graded G6 by PCGS. Images are from J. Robinson Rare Coin.