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1821 B-5 Bust Quarter G-T-G : 200 Year Anniversary

1TwoBits1TwoBits Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭

The 1821 Browning-5 variety is called an R-4 in both the Rea/Peterson/Karoleff/Kovach book on bust quarters, and the Tompkins book. It is a somewhat scarce variety, but available in all grades. The Tompkins book notes the obverse has a dentil count of 128 and the reverse has a dentil count of 123, while the edge reed count is 108. There are at least two proofs known, as well as the existence of 3 copper die transfers with 136 hand cut reeds.

The obverse and reverse dies for the 1821 B-5 are new dies and only used with this particular die marriage.

Some of the obverse diagnostics include:

  • A low wide date, with the 8 leaning left
  • 1 centered under hair curl
  • Star 1 points to lower drapery curl
  • Star 6 is repunched

Some of the reverse diagnostics include:

  • A square base 2 and large 5, with the 2 slightly lower than the 5
  • A1 is above T3 at the base
  • Die line from left scroll end to D
  • E3 below M at the base
  • The O in OF is high
  • Middle talon of eagles left claw broken even with arrow shaft
  • Reverse center dot between 5th and 6th crossbar

There isn't a lot going on with die states for the 1821 B-5. There is an obverse die line from the lower bust to the 1 in the date (see below). Then the obverse die is lapped removing the die line. It is noted by Tompkins that most stars will be flatly struck with no center radials.

The example below was in an NGC holder before being crossed to PCGS. Feel free to try and guess the NGC and PCGS grades if you'd like, and any comments are always welcome. If you have an 1821 B-5, please post a picture of it.


Searching for bust quarters.....counterstamps, errors, and AU-MS varieties, please let me know if you can help.


  • scotty4449scotty4449 Posts: 662 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh wow, that's beautiful! I would guess MS64?

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 10,869 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree, wow, that’s an amazing early quarter, the eye appeal is off the chart. No idea what either service graded it.

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  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 8,707 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Out of my capability to grade with any certainty. Beautiful coin regardless of grade. Congrats and thanks for sharing.

    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.
  • truebloodtrueblood Posts: 609 ✭✭✭✭

    Drop dead gorgeous is what it is

  • pursuitoflibertypursuitofliberty Posts: 6,354 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wonderful example! <3

    Not sure how much the area above the cap or the left facing obverse field and neck scrapes affected the grade, but the coin appears Choice, and the luster appears full.

    “We are only their care-takers,” he posed, “if we take good care of them, then centuries from now they may still be here … ”

    Todd - BHNC #242
  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,592 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice one!

  • scubafuelscubafuel Posts: 1,646 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’ll take a shot here and guess 62/62.
    Great example from your set.

  • johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,008 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Il say 63, fwiw

  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,476 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Beautiful piece! I'm out of my depth in grading these though... especially from a picture! If someone mistakes the areas in Ms. Liberty's cap or on the eagle's right wing as breaks in luster... I could see anywhere from 58 to 64...

    Collecting: Dansco 7070; Middle Date Large Cents (VF-AU); Box of 20;

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  • Batman23Batman23 Posts: 4,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very nice quarter. I will guess MS63.

  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,057 ✭✭✭✭✭

    64/64. Good looking coin.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,723 ✭✭✭✭✭

    AU58 but probably graded as MS. A very nice coin.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • NSPNSP Posts: 322 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’ll go MS62. Very nice example.

    Here is mine, graded VG8 by NGC:

  • BaleyBaley Posts: 22,658 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Gorgeous example of this somewhat scarce variety, overall looks 64 to me, small rather inconspicuous marks and perhaps tiny rub so I'll guess N63 then P62.

    Also like NSP, mine is more pedestrian, recently found one that fits the average grede of my other early quarters

    Liberty: Parent of Science & Industry

  • ThreeCentSilverFLThreeCentSilverFL Posts: 1,655 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Really nice example. Thanks for sharing!

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That looks like an MS63 to me....Good detail with some field tics.... Cheers, RickO

  • 1TwoBits1TwoBits Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭

    Most everyone was right there with the grades, or very close.

    NGC liked it for an MS63, and it crossed to PCGS as MS62.

    Thanks for the comments and for posting your examples.


    Searching for bust quarters.....counterstamps, errors, and AU-MS varieties, please let me know if you can help.

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