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