1857-O Liberty Seated Quarter Dollar - Misplaced 18 In Denticles
by Greg Johnson
This month is the third in a four part series on seated quarter varieties left off of the Top 25 list for being too rare. September’s column featured the 1854 thin date and October’s the 1856 Flag of 6 in the Shield. This month we will discuss the 1857-O Briggs 7-C with the top of “18” in the obverse denticles below the date (Figure 1 and 2). The reverse, which also pairs with obverse 6 (very low date), has several distinctive clash marks (Figure 3). The die pair was described as “the rarest variety of the year” in Larry Briggs’ “Comprehensive Encyclopedia of United States Liberty Seated Quarters” (Lima, OH 1991). It was not included in either the 1993 or 2007 surveys, but Larry Briggs, in a December 14, 2007 article in “The Coin Dealer Newsletter Monthly Supplement” described the issue as “Rarest variety of the year… Presently only 3 coins known of this variety.”
I have searched diligently for this variety since 2004, watching EBay, seated specialist dealer inventories, and 2-4 major shows per year during that time. I have confirmed the existence of 8 examples in all grades and conditions. Several coins that have been attributed by dealers as Briggs 7-C have proven to be misattributed upon close inspection. It is likely that there are more unattributed specimens that exist, but the variety remains extremely rare and hard to locate. Only one of the known examples is certified and none grade better than about Choice XF to AU50.
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